Only Daughter

Lyn Li Che | Poetry

Mother, I woke with two arils
———in my palm and when I swallowed,
I thought this time I would be ready
———to unlearn hunger, to spit sweetness
into your gaping mouth. I’m tired
———of being the animal
of your flesh, the only doorway
———you’ll ever walk through—on one side,
you dreamt of having a boy, but found teeth-
———marks on the other. Meanwhile, I dreamt
of wearing your skin before the mirror,
———twirling, my heart rattling in your chest.
For years, you let the world vesper,
———gifted me the back-side of your fists,
and yet here I am, missing you
———the same way a word misses the silence
but not the throat. All winter, your wet
———rhythms welled up inside me like childhood:
its long, unbroken thirst. I lashed
———myself to your mast so I could hear it—
salt-black and inestimable—
———siren-song of harsh hands gesturing
towards something, I wish I could say what.