shadow mothers send
their daughters to the mad-house in babbling hordes
and call their rooms in the evernight, in the mid-morn, wondering after the girls they broke and the wings they burned and asking:
“do your fingers burn, still, from cradling the ashes
of your own heart? do they taste of smoke / and a wisp of desperation?”
“was i the last woman you’ll ever love?”
“am i not your birth and beginning / your end, and the afterlife?
am i not the bricks you carry on the shelf of your shoulders / and the daughter you’re afraid to bear?
is it not my madness you drink / and my face you see in the shining gutter-gore?”
and we call to them
voices heady and brittle, pushing between the bars on our windows:
we are ever-daughters
the childless / the rotten anti-virgins / the Liliths
and you are the gatekeepers
of our future graves.
tell me we are not only what our mothers made of us | t. bennett ; @raggedhearts