A Poem by Rio Cortez: ‘Ars Poetica With Mother and Dogs’

I turn and don’t expect my mother’s face
                               I ask how did you enter this poem
she says it wasn’t easy

she is dressed in my favorite horse-print silk sheath
                               and dripping lake water
says she wore it to trick my lover

I want to ask how could you but instead
                               I reach behind her and break a vase
she used to love but we are surrounded

by dogs some of them used to sleep
                                at our bedsides but don’t
anymore she grabs my hand and who am I anyway

to keep asking
                             her to leave why not take her face
and explain the damned thing

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