Before we begin, I don’t want to pretend like I’m not being emotionally and mentally affected by all that’s going on in our world. But this is the only way I know how to process. So, I can’t promise you these all wont be about the coronavirus. I’m hoping they won’t. That being said…let’s get to it.
my mother hasn’t seen my face in
some time and it’s turning our
nightly phone calls into painting sessions
where she tries to see if she can
catch the curve of my jaw, the worry
weight in my wooly cheeks, the new
growth and extra half inch of hair,
the one that stress broke off.
I tell her I haven’t been drinking or
at least I haven’t been drinking much,
and she thins the paint around my stomach,
turpentines the pot from my belly and
says, that’s good to hear.
I say I’ve gone to get groceries
and she dabs her brush in the black
and does a wash which will suffice
for the t-shirt she knows so well
and the jeans and sneakers,
and the hoodie she used to be
concerned about, all
from the timbre of my voice.
It’s a rough. An idea. But still something
to hang on the wall and marvel at until morning.
But before we say goodnight, before she
rinses the brushes, I say again,
with great uncertainty,
I’m alright, but are you?
And I know she hears the fear in my voice
I know she’s painted the furrow
that seems to go on forever, but instead
of yes or no, she says,
you haven’t seen your mother’s face in
some time and have forgotten
what you look like.