(Inspired by Beloved & Sula by Toni Morrison)

being alive is the hard part
the rememory: trauma.

“… even if I die, the picture of what I did, or knew, or saw is still out there.
right in the place where it happened.”

still out there in the place.
this trauma.
it follows, sweeps all to dust pans
leaves them there
to be sifted through, inhaled, kicked, redistributed.

death does not discard, unfold. does not release, unravel.
the dead are boxes of injuries, the packages of fears,
the poorly kept parcels of bones.

and you are your mother
she is her mother
and she hers
and she hers
and you, so the matryoshka doll
is the swallowing of generations, a nesting of trauma:
each figure inside, taking up space, making up
a greater people.

you are to peel the outer most layers
to stand a chance against it. you are to scrape the
painted proof of pain.
the waxed edges.
the etched smiles.
the rough bottoms.


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