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Dream Daughter

ISSUE:  Spring 2021


How long I’ve dreamt of you, teenaged and long-legged, lying on our porch, 
your mud-speckled sandals kicked off to the side, watching a tree slowly split 

in half during a summer storm smelling of good metals, of you holding your 
soupy breath when each split-end hair shatters open, the wood shining like 

a beaver pelt in rain, of you wishing the wind would just take it all, of you 
saying, Won’t it take it all? of your long, wet hair like squid-ink pasta tentacled 

with mine, my gray strands like salted sardines delicious with pickled mustard 
greens, for I am on this porch and writing poems for you, thinking about how 

my mother’s hair winds around mine like corridors of the heart, her wavy, thick
hair like lasagna noodles we learned to layer in Jersey, our strands entangled 

in a messy kiss of lineage, her hair still so black it makes bats jealous, flapping 
their wings in pitch-black prayer, of you tilting your head, saying, That is really 

strange, and what is so strange about the three of us lounging in the damp after-
storm, for my mother is also on the porch, the freckles on her cheeks constellating 

with pearlescent dew, telling you about purple sweet potatoes, her favorite and 
so must be mine and so must be yours, steam rising from the oven like a dragon’s 

plum-crested breath, how velvet they are, of the earth’s remarkable ways, of you 
saying, Can we have some soon, of how long I’ve dreamt of the three of us, great swans 

cuddled on a porch, the ancient fans of our mouths feathering because we can.


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