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  • Seneca Basoalto

Gilboa

I don't call my mother by anything other than her given name


you assemble your jealousy in the kitchen your first husband built,

another name you never took | another name you didn't earn

but kept inside a jar on the wicker table next to undeserved dollars,

letting your daughter hide behind the house underneath the birch

a small cluster of blackberries attached to the bush and your bare

feet scraping the summer heat of a brick floor, watching me from

the window | I think of the wolves on David's shirt, and now

I find myself mad when every man I love doesn't smell exactly

like the pseudo father you used for stability while you pretended

to love kerosene heat and living sequestered north of the Catskills


his spirit was thicker than a mountain of trees and yet I remain

unsurprised at how quickly you burned it all down | and I watch,

doing nothing except eating the sun flares that catch me through

the canopy | but I know you better | at what hours you could be

found pacing on the front porch while your favorite mutt followed

followed you back and forth & back and forth & licked you until

you shoved him down the steps, out of love, of course, beside the

chipping green paint of the screen door that never fully closed,

barking at the daddy long legs | I slept atop a pile of bears and

listened to you gripe from between the dutch doors | I would love

to have stayed there, but only if you loved me enough to leave



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