mother existed primarily over email

we made pilgrimage to Club Pardes
for a ten-course breakfast, this time
cucumbers, scallions, radish salad
with sour cream, political correctness,
abortion, it could have been anything,
and it was only tuesday and six a.m. coffee
takes guts.

we talked nixon and the movies.
plans to die before the mets ever won
anything good, clutching salt and praising god
and wiping egg salad from our mouths.

it had been twenty years and now
mother-daughter could have been anything.
real estate agent and elderly client.

we talked couch sales and npr.
i said i was tired and it was meant
as a conversation, you smiled, looked
wise, folded mayonnaise napkins in your hands.
lay your head on the window glass
as street lights went headless, yellow-hatted
workers palmed nuts and bolts like pearls
and there was so much between us –
sugar packets and milk and red peppers.
you had never stopped asking for sauces on the side,
or started asking anything.

we split the check, tipped, not much.
i took the sugars and cleared forehead
fog with my thumb.

Maya Renaud-Levine is a senior at Beacon High School, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She has a passion for podcasts, politics, singing, and playing the piano, and will never turn down a good crime novel. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in The WEIGHT Journal, Idle Ink, Eunoia Review, Blue Marble Review, Girls Right the World, Recenter Press, and Truant Lit, and she is a national winner of the American High School Poets’ JUST POETRY!!! the National Poetry Quarterly.

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