"I like to remember shadow dancing on the beach with my mother as a child on New Years Eve with the parking lot lamp behind us - our black-hair-pin arms reached into the frothy waves and got lost there - my mother was always beautiful and inky and I've always been sinking into the surf.
My mum is the woman I can only hope to approximate, and while her presence guides me sometimes she blends through my days and I wish she'd leave cleaner marks. What am I if I am always trying to be her? No one steals a worn out copy, I feel like I'm just putting the scraps of her stories on my spine trying to pass like something that could be coveted.
When I look in the mirror I can see her apple cheeks and strawberry nose and peach skin - everyone says we are so very much the same not only in appearance but also in flavor. We both stopped eating five years ago.
What to do as the copy of a weeping willow that is always feeling like she's drying up.
What to do when I feel guilty for taking up her space.
When I admit to skipping dinner she writes to me about my beauty - inside and out - upside and down - supportive mom stuff. She tries to make me feel less alone by confessing her own hunger and sadness, a thin woman alone in a big house. She is seeping through me, but I’ll offer the space I’ve got because she’s given everything to me.
She shrinks because she is to stressed and sad to eat - I shrink because pounding the pavement seems softer than facing my lack of agency.
I like the lines on note pages and the assumed lanes on sidewalks. I need someone else to regiment my space.
My mother tries not to tell me what to do because she trusts me, because she’s not sure of the example she’s setting herself. She never saw her own mother cry, she repeats to me while swallowing her words. She swallows her words hard because that's the only thing she'll swallow.
When I remember shadow dancing with my mother on the beach as a child, I remember my image imprinted on the sand and sea, long, lean, slowly slipping away from me and into the earth. I’d like to convince my shadow I’m someone worth following, but for now I’ll let her float in those foamy waters, waiting and wading and wanting and wishing."