east of the city i find dolomite. its crystals wear curved faces
stretched long by the years, my desire
not unlike a rock like this: also crystal, porous, this weight,
not a rock you can depend on
to keep its form. welcoming water,
room for error, can i soften
the bolt in this poem. my jaw
a buckle fastening tight: sit
still, stay put, shut up.
the past a spiral staircase i climb, bending over the railing to shout into the middle
my mama & i don’t talk about
ferns. little dots on the leaves washed out
by harsh suns, loving harshness of a mother
throwing open the curtains saying
get your ass out of bed, sweetie.
later, you have to mother yourself like that.
mother & daughter might move like currents
diverging. it has to do with the lithosphere,
how a daughter can be rigid, too,
despite little clouds between vertebrae.
everyone has clouds between their vertebrae
if they want to—it’s a matter of sending breath
there. some people wear their outer parts rigid
but my rigidity is inside. coiled snake
i disciplined into a spine. like the ferns
my wanting marks me in little circles
visible in the shadows when you lean in.
Patrycja Humienik, daughter of Polish immigrants, is a writer and performer based in Seattle, WA. Her poetry is featured/forthcoming in Passages North, BOAAT, Poetry Northwest, Four Way Review, Hobart, Sporklet, Guesthouse, and elsewhere. Find her on twitter @jej_sen.