Honor Thy Mother

gravity tethers us to the ground
it is power in the body
of quick, dead, and quick-dead
a force of honor

she has no headstone still
a sibling error
following two years of promise
and no honor

i am the last breath of patience
digging my hands in the dirt
to say hello to an unmarked plot of earth
to touch the scattered pieces
of my oldest memory

i believe names make us real
that known names are the anchors
that fasten us to the living world
and give us meaning
without them we have never breathed

my name means “Wealthy Friend”
i call myself “Contradiction”
her name means “Alive”
i call her “Contradiction”
his name means “Supplanter”
we are a web spun
with accurate inaccuracy
a two-sided triangle

on my knees
with fingers in the ground
like roots, I grow from her grave
a bush of blooming flowers
that drinks the tears of wandering women
who look for the spot where the woman with no name
grabs us by the ankles

i harvest her secrets in silence
fed on grassroots wisdom
she reminds me of the proximity
of grave to gravity in my mouth
then begs again
for forgiveness I do not have
for men who forget the value
of names in stone

i ask her
to keep me from floating
let me bloom without forgiveness
it is not a luxury of flowers
soon trampled under foot
by men in search of themselves
in their mother’s graves

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