I am my mother’s language

kneaded among the discolored patches of my skin &


I am teeth skidding across waters

salt collecting on rolled tongues &


she is smattered against condemnation

in a country whose flag bears colors akin to her own


I am not my mother’s patience

nor am i the flecks of green in her warm gaze


I am not her freckled hands

nor am i the soft lines on her pallid skin


I thumb through bible pages

and name a testament after women &


their crimson hands carving resilience

wringing out sodden wounds


with every exhale of their breath

against wood and concrete


I am my mother’s tears

and she is the flit of illumination that follows them