Summer 2020 Archive
By Nailah Mathews
my grandmother lived in a lagoon of silt
between the nine middle west winds, somewhere
around zephyr four-point-five-nine.
this was a woman who ate stone plums for pleasure
who made mosaics from bones and vomit, who had
enough hands to shove all her husbands down the stairs
my mother was born east of magic,
spoke only in verbs until she became a woman
and when that moon came, the sky opened up.
she received one nut for each wish the world made
she baked pies with them, made the
houseblockneighborhood smell like
hope for the future.
i was born south of no-man’s land,
no more than handful and a half of miles from isiscyra
my mother touched a screw on the railroad tracks
forty-five days before she got fat in the belly and
it still did not protect her from me.
her granddaughter is a keloid scar on my retina.
she walks in phalanx formation.
she has electric cheekbones, she is vulpine at the dinner table.
she is the miracle of girlhood savagery.