A Song of Oneness


My first day alive I drank from your breast.

I awoke to my brother’s laugh.

My father’s gaze.

And the child inside—4, 6, 8, 13...

She mourns you all with a fervor today.


She screams like the wailing woman who‘s lost her sons at war, and she

tears at my heart and lungs with her dirty fingernails and

I clutch my own breast and collapse.


After all, you were the woman I baked cookies with.

You let me stir the yellow Dahl and I loved the smell of cilantro on your skin.

I loved the softness of your skin like

A rose petal pressed in a forgotten book,

I miss you, Mom.


And if it were enough...

If the grief was enough to override the hunger for truth that was woven into

My body and Being, even before I tasted your womb...


If it were enough, I would call you up, Mom.


And tell you I miss Christmas.

And I miss your pies and

Playing in your jewelry and

My walks with Dad at twilight, which

No one understands because

He broke me like he did.


I would call you up to appease the waves

Of shaking, cavernous aching-heart sadness,

And I would tell you I love you Mom.


(I love you Mom, in spite of it all.)


I came from you, through you, like a fire that burned your near-frozen belly and I hurt you Mom,

I know I did.


But you hurt me when you continue to lie with him.


And I love myself more, but.

I love you, Mom.


No one tells you the grief is like this, like death.


Worse than the remembering of those

Hellish nights where I was taken in my bed and

Broken open and my mouth was forced to hold him.


No one tells you you don’t stop loving.


The strong hearts don’t, anyway. The strongest ones, like mine, don’t ever stop singing

the song of oneness,

holding the truth of the interconnectedness of human flesh and blood and spirit.


Victim, perpetrator, father, daughter, mother, son. Sister, brother.

The family of humanity torn like my lungs are this dripping morning.

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copyright © 2020 Julia Phoenix Eleven.

All rights reserved.

*Disclaimer: I am not a licensed psychotherapist or psychiatrist, and cannot offer medical or psychiatric advice.

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