Mother-Daughter Rhetoric

1. Mother’s Solution

I heard you were dying so I came to you with wheat clenched between my fingers, dry soil fertilizing amongst my toes. I wanted to take my shears, cut flowers from their stems, and shove them in your mouth to speed up death’s process. I’ll force you to water them with your memories of childhood—replenished by those floating among the river Styx.

2. Daughter’s Reaction

I came to you with sadness tucked into my pocket, my mind rewinding film against jagged edges to replay my fatal mistake, my fingers hardened by the decision to make fist or accept my fate. I told you the jellied tears swam their way into my mouth. They fused to my taste buds and whispered secrets of the dead:

down here we carry our burden on elbows, float along on our grief.