My Daughter Asks Me the Same Question Repeatedly,
Looking for a Different Answer & I Say No
by Ariana D. Den Bleyker
She asks & the smooth flow of imagined spirits inside
my throat lingers, but only for a while;
a white flower carried by a vine on its soft tendrils crawls an iron fence;
a salmon sushi bathed in soy & fingerful of wasabi on my tongue runs with fire,
lingers in my flaring nostrils. We stand face-to-face in the moment,
cloaked in summer haze, some place where we breach the dam—
water blue-brown, green-blue—surface stirred by breeze.
I take a chance, say the word & watch her pretty face scrunch,
freckles merging, pink lips quivering. Our eyes catch, circle brown to hazel,
adrift as islands until the time has come—
I greet myself with trepidation, arrive at my own door,
gaze into my mirror, smile, hearing my mother say,
Sit here, eat. You love the little girl that is yourself, who has loved you all her life,
knows you by heart. I peel my image from the mirror
& reconsider my reply, feast on the truth.
* * * * *
"My Daughter Asks Me the Same Question Repeatedly, Looking for a Different Answer & I Say No" is from Ariana D. Den Bleyker's chapbook manuscript Confessions of a Mother Hovering in the Space Where Birds Collide with Windows.
Ariana D. Den Bleyker is a Pittsburgh native currently residing in New York's Hudson Valley where she is a wife and mother of two. When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family and every once in a while sleeps. She is the author of three collections, fifteen chapbooks, a novelette, and experimental memoir, and two crime novellas. She hopes you'll fall in love with her words.