Married to the Water

my parents were married
            like a drowned body

is married to the water,
            bloat kissing its indigo surface.

in the aftermath, my mother’s absence
            was like an abscess. like memory,

backwash comes to our door,
            steeps the carpet in salt.

look at all these dreams
            the flood took. once, a family

photo hung in the foyer,
            an illusion in plain sight.

my parents were married
            like the house was

to the fire, the union scorching
            the last photo of my mother’s arms,

the purple shirt blooming into bursts
            of flame. i did not know fire

could live in water until she cradled me
            for the last time. until the sink baptism

turned into a drowning, until her arms
            turned into a lake, tasting of salt and loss.

synonym for mother: an open door.
            i passed through her like wind,

like a season, like the flood and the blaze,
            all forms of erasure, allowing us to forget.

when I dreamt of my mother: once, i saw an angel.
            now, i see her face on fire, heaven inverting,

skin melting to reveal the truth. i won’t say it, ma.
            all i can say is that there were no bones.

the house built without a frame, the photo
            charring at the edges. us, delusional

even in the last deluge. when i dream
            of my father, he is cradling me in his arms

as we run, smelling of petrichor and smoke.
            but mother, i am still burning.

Miceala Morano (she/her/hers) is an emerging writer whose work is published or forthcoming in The Lumiere Review, Hooligan Magazine, Intersections Magazine, Ice Lolly Review, and more. Her work has been recognized by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, and she was recently named a Foyle Commended Poet by the Poetry Society of the UK, as well as Arkansas Scholastic Press Association’s 2021 Literary Magazine Writer of the Year.

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2 Responses to Married to the Water

  1. Splendid lines ❤️🌿🌟🌹🌟🌱❤️

  2. If I could, I’d give this 5 stars.

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