I come home to sleep against the smell of my mother’s blood
and spit how men have told me to talk to them. Mother I want
to do something with anger. She hands me a throat and a cradle
and I follow her to the sump pit at the center of the house
behind her canvases. We each take turns spitting inside
until we have a flood. I say mother I never fell in love and she peels back
the flesh of her belly, shows me a red uterus studded with bone tines
upon which to sharpen myself. When I was born I turned
around and helped her give birth to herself. I say mother I want
to be seen and she sends me to gather quail feathers dropped across the winter
field after the cat, arranges them at home beside the heifer skull
and tube of ochre. Says train your sight enough and you can crosshair anything
alive. Rattlesnake bites and vaginal births can both be a reason
for a home burial. Mother I want something good. She tells me genesis
began with a woman offering her rib to all the hungry unnamed
animals left in the wake of the words that set them moving.
All the rest is just men’s talk and hearsay.
Kelly Weber is the author of the debut poetry collection We Are Changed to Deer at the Broken Place (Tupelo Press, 2022) and the chapbook The Dodo Heart Museum (Dancing Girl Press, 2021). Her work has received Pushcart nominations and has appeared or is forthcoming in The Laurel Review, Brevity, The Missouri Review, The Journal, Palette Poetry, Southeast Review, Passages North, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Colorado State University and lives in Colorado with two rescue cats. More of her work can be found at kellymweber.com.
Photography by: Mallory Johndrow