She tells me over coffee,
and I’m not sure where to look.
We’re sitting at our kitchen table
and the sun has already lit the backyard
I listen to my mother tell me
what I already knew, deep down.
I try not to wince.
I listen and I nod and I drink.
I imagine my mother as a young girl,
feeling so much of what I feel now,
wishing—desperately—as I often wish,
that she had another, made from the same clay.
Should I have checked my mother’s hands
seconds after my birth,
I don’t think I would have been surprised
to find mud beneath the fingernails.
You are not a living thing.
My mother points out the bluebirds
resting on the feeder.
I sip my coffee.
My toes crumble in my sock.