Skull of Moon, Fist of Stars, Claire Scott

Marilyn Higginson, Twin Rocks Morning, Oil on Wrapped Canvas



I knew if I stayed I would die
you can’t live nourished on nothing
my mother: made of malice + bitter marrow
silent as a sun-baked snake
one eye glistening
my mother: manic + mercurial
knife flailing
scotch flowing
shredded wheat for supper
my mother: a vulture winging + waiting
my bones picked clean
this was the known I knew
remnants + rinds
tethered to a mother who one day
would care, if only I—
if only—

I knew if I stayed I would die
for years I chose death
living at the end of a rope
a boot heel on my face
until I understood
            —my rope
            —my boot
& backed down the driveway
in my ancient Studebaker
wearing the shape of wind
the steady of stars
splinters of the past
still festering

Claire Scott

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