Author: Mom Egg Review

You, little movie theatre in Harlem, two blocks from my home, Do you remember how you took Mama and me in on weekends? Like magic on that big screen, you kept Mama sober. A huge tub of popcorn on our laps, smell of butter, just a few more hours to pretend we were happy. We were happy. Burgundy-crushed velour seats, edges worn, butter-stained, bittersweet, my mind wondering away before opening credits rolled. Would you go back to your dark room Mama? Little theatre on 147th and Broadway, we cried uncontrollably when closing credits for Ben started rolling. Michael Jackson’s tender…

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for Beckett Rose before they took you from your bed inside me, before they made that exploratory sleuce through exoderm, endoderm, abdomen before your pale soft skin and hair like a tawny cat’s were presented to me disconcertingly already-clean and before that same cut would refuse to heal, reopening as if to remind how unfinished it is, this business of being born (if asked, I would reply that I’m only in my preface, preambling, while wordless, all wonder, you appear fully written. do days erase?) yes. before that. immediately before, or at least on that day when the pain came…

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The women of my grandmother’s line are cloaked in polished oak. Their nipples bare, silk of budding blooms. I know my father by the cacti growing atop my lungs. The areolas pullulating from my desert chest sprout needles that prick lovers’ mouths. The women of my grandmother’s line do not wear abandon on their skin, they are the silk of budding blooms. I machete his DNA my skin a map of outstretched hands coaxing gangly chromosomes. The women of my grandmother’s line have gardens between their legs, groomed Eden. Father spins a web of spider legs between my thighs. I…

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My Nephew’s teeth are straight like swans in a row better than ducks pretty target for foe I worry about his beauty is his grace what they seek to destroy? does he have Emmett’s eyes? Trayvon’s smile? No child’s nightmare What triggers the hunt? is it their hunger, or our blood? My nephew’s teeth are straight like his back when he walks no longer a toddler too late to teach him to bow How did he not bend? With the load of Emmett Or the burden of a smile erased? How long do miracles last? Nichelle Johnson is…

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My mother died last May. She lived to sew her own designs dressed her only daughter like a baby doll contrived in custom made pink and lace, a traumatic misplace for a non-femme. My mother died last May. At home, in bed, alone gut stained rose flowered bedding displayed proof of her demise where she had laid choking on bile in denial of transition time. My mother died in May. Sent her off to the other side wherever she may be in style clustered red floras, gray mental casket blue and white rayon poke-a-dotted dress. No pink. No lace. …

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My daughter has blossomed into a beautiful butterfly, She has learned to stop and smell the roses while avoiding bee stings, but She cannot avoid the pain that life brings. She still cries for little lost things, like Math books, keys, Puff-her magic dragon and grandma’s knees, that she never got to bounce on. I fall on scarred knees to pray she never cries over subtraction problems that divide the soul from spirit, multiplying her pain, played out on old piano keys. She once asked me what is ivory. I refuse to tell her it is just soap. I tell…

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Sometimes I raise my hand to brush the curl from the left side of my face but it is only a new squiggle of blood floating in the vitreous of my remaining eye. Sometimes I remember you saying Mama, I will be your eyes let me help you in this dark. I brushed away your little hand not wanting to burden you with my lack. Now I wish I had let you lead. Sometimes I feel you lurking behind me in the kitchen I turn, call your name aloud only your cat, Coconut, answers. *Named for Celtic Goddess of Fire…

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“It’s Time”… Perhaps the phrase You whispered in my Father’s ear When you were Ready to conceive me. “It’s Time” Your water breaks, I was born. “It’s Time” You let my hand go And I walked my first steps. “It’s Time” When you knew your Marriage was over and You had to leave. “It’s Time” You combed my pig tails Straightened my uniform and Dropped me off My first day of school. “It’s Time” You let go of the Training wheels I was still learning to ride my bike. “It’s Time” You gave me permission To wear red lipstick When…

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You sat on the table at Sears, your dress of baby pink frilling around your feet; your hair with ribbons decked—a one-year-old princess with a scowl—and nothing that we said or did made you smile. The finished print revealed your act of resistance: fingers pressing firmly, painfully on the table to keep your smile at bay. I laughed, pleased that you were a girl who won’t be pressured into smiles. But the web of rejection grew, first went dresses, all the pinks and bows. No girl tops with straps. I shopped boys’ racks, and when the mohawk came, I slowly…

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To Mom She slouches in the chair whose alarm will screech when she gets up. “What is this?” she shouts indignant that this has happened- the chair, the bad food, the hospital bed, eighty-nine years of living and now her hands- bruised walnuts- can’t crack open enough to hold a spoon. Pamela L. Laskin is a lecturer in the English Department, where she directs the Poetry Outreach Center. Poetry collections include: Remembering Fireflies and Secrets of Sheets (Plain View Press); The Bonsai Curator and Van Gogh’s Ear; (Cervena Barva Press), Daring Daughter/Defiant Dreams (A Gathering of Tribes) and The Plagiarist (Dos Madres Press). Several…

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