An Hour After the Phone Call

by | February 11, 2021

the woman with a cigarette curses upwards
          death takes too long she says
she grows inside out to house her flaws
laughs again          despite the walls she laughs
          despite the persistence she laughs
her raspy voice passes through me and flows into

another ear calling for a child          is there
a different past, mother, in which i’m familiar?
          all this blood i’ve watered and thinned
the air still weighed by fatigue
there’s this hidden movement underneath
          violent falling          overhead fading

mother, have we ever had a home?          the phone
is ringing          and i broke this mirror for you
          because i think of it as sacrilege          green eyes
with a cigarette inspecting me          she says look to
the ground          it’s your future          it ripples and carries.
          white smoke          a fleeting breath above water          reaches the line ∎


Words by Ayna Li Taira. Art by Alisa Musatova.