Daughter's Dissolution

by Hannah Matheson | 5/3/17 2:45am

hello, I’ll admit to me. the self propagates — I did it,

my thighs expanding in concentric circles, fatty tree rings,

nesting dolls of unshed skin, trapped inside

ghost versions of myself. anything overripe

will rot: grounded fruit. the moon waxes

and then melts away into a crescent hangnail. mama,

your body must have done this, flushed me out when it became too much.

swollen in your sadness & then slipped through you.

hungover or withdrawn, regardless my DNA needs

watering. like if you’re thirsty how thirsty. what river

do you lack. this is an heirloom too: eyes

that are bloodhound bloodshot, half-hearted veins

splayed & reaching to your cornea but,

you & I, we won’t say it, instead

I’ll chew my cheeks & draw iron,

pool saliva, grind an alphabet skein as knotted

as chromosomes between my teeth. masticated helix,

sordid dribble down my chin with every I’m sorry because

meaning leaks. amniotic from each word that cracks out of me

the way you carried me in your stomach until it split

and your rains spilled over everything. leached the ink

from my scratchings, and now fissures. canyons. dirty trickle-down,

my apologies my angries my self run together, all this time

pretending there was someone to blame when

my body began to crest like a wave about to break —

can’t find a place for my accusation, wandering

like an antibody that’s forgotten what poison it’s for.

but there’s still this — this bile festering in my stomach — the nights

you pour down your throat and go slack — nowhere to set it down.

even so, with this rusty mouthful, I would forgive you

in any language, except forgiveness.