don't live / very long. we can't resist / the oven rattling / like a siren, or / the wintered whisper / of the backyard river / where our children learned / how to flirt with death / by floating, not knowing / the water of our wombs / could slaughter more, slower, / than any tidewater beast. / our babies / don't smile; they bare teeth. / our daughters don't dream / about pink-mouthed princes / but about fathers / made of fire / made for fucking. / our sons shiver / at sight of the man / in the mirror. / my son sees / his grandmother and / me, same / blue eyes and monster / -ed brain, corkscrew hurricane / not good / for mothering but great / for boiling in whatever pot / we near-deads can find. / i'm worried / if my son starts / bloating with river water, stiff / and woman-silent, / i'll mistake the stench / for a hallucination, / nightmare, / or my mother's ghost.
DEAN SYMMONDS is a queer poet from the South seeking zir BA in Creative Writing at Hollins University. Ze works as a Poetry Editor at Persephone's Daughters, and is an alumna of the Hollows Shout the Mountains Down Winter Tangerine workshop. Zir poems have been published in magazines like [empath], Gravel, The Album, and Crab Fat Magazine. You can find zem on Twitter @poetpersephone.