Lantern Review | Issue 9.1

Geramee Hensley

Elegy for My Mother’s Daughter

Dear Ma

I inherit your laughter and ferry it to a future you cannot follow me to

Snapping the ribs of a song creates a new one

I won’t call it better,

but I will call it at 2 a.m. when my throat’s battery indicator is a thin red traffic line I
swerve through, my voice hungry for the break of a rule

When a rule breaks, powder puffs out, and if you breathe this dust, you become a rule,
and it isn’t pretty

Ma, I am not a son, and you are not just a mother

I think a part of me is the daughter you always wanted,
but everyone wants me to be a
rule, so I hollow the inside of my body and live in it

Hallowed is the ground you walk, so remove your sandals says god, and I take off my

When I was little, I believed money was a unit of measure for freedom

Now I know it’s much worse than that

Prophets don’t proffer for profit in opposite land

When I want to remember a time before I was born, I listen to the sound of rushing

Photo of Geramee Hensley Geramee Hensley is a writer currently pursuing their MFA at the University of Arizona. They are poetry editor at Tinderbox Poetry Journal and Sonora Review. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Button Poetry, Indiana Review, Marias at Sampaguitas, Hobart, The Recluse, and elsewhere. • Photo by the author

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