I wonder if my dead mother still thinks of me.
I know I don’t know her new name. I don’t know
her, not now. I don’t know if “her” is the word
burning in a stranger’s mind when he sees my dead
mother walking down the street in her bright black
dress. I wonder if he inhales the cigarette smoke
that will eventually kill him and thinks “I wish I knew
a woman who was both the light and every shadow
the light pierces.” I wonder if a passing glance at my dead
mother is enough to make a poet out of anyone. I wonder
if I’m the song she hums as she waits for the light to change
or if I’m just the traffic signal holding her up.
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