Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts

Poetry Contest Winners :: Thirty-second Contest :: Honorable Mention


Mother

by geetika mahajan
i. and when you sleep

i can’t help but see the stubborn creases

at the corner of your eyes. you are forever trying to erase

the stray white hairs poking through the darker ones,

you still refuse to dye your hair like the

other mothers already do. instead

you pull them out like stubborn weeds —

they don’t belong there

you are still young

thirty-five and thirty-five and thirty-five

no matter how many february twenty-eighths

pass.



ii. please don’t ever leave (me)

how you

throw yourself around as if you’re replaceable when you’re not,

how you hurtle around

as if you’re unbreakable when you’re not,

how you never stop

working

working

working.



iii. i am a selfish hypocrite

i grab your wrist to stop you

and have to let go —

you are thinner than i remembered

be more careful for god’s sake.



iv. our souls sing to different keys

you tell me to sit with my legs closed

i sit with my legs spread open and dare anything to happen,

you worry about me and i wish you wouldn’t because

i will always

make it out okay.



v. and the cosmos

i was your earth you were my sun,

so bright i thought you were perfection but you were just

burning yourself up for me

like i was your everything.

i am not your everything.



vi. on love

sometimes love becomes worry becomes suffocation becomes i can’t breathe anymore

please.

i love you.



vii. how much i cried and how much you cried

it was

good for us it was good for us now we are

offbeat,

but it is a

good sort of offbeat like we are about to careen into better things.

one day,

i will return and visit and buy you a private

jet like i promised i would.



viii. i dreamt you died and your body was on display under the buffet table

i woke up crying and i didn’t want to stop.



ix. and us

all i want is

to be dissolved into how you smell like

home and warmth,

just the sound of your voice makes me cry sometimes,

the world has worn down the planes of your face but i swear

i won’t break.



x. despite everything i have ever said you will always be my hero

gather now up and press it between the pages of a book

my palms are up and open to the sky —

protect her,

protect us,

protect this.
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