Mother’s Back

      by Garry Gay and Michael Dylan Welch

First published in Mariposa #40, Spring/Summer 2019, page 17. Originally written in the late summer and early autumn of 1997 via email.

broken string—
the floor covered
with worry beads                                                            Garry

        a chain letter
        tossed into the trash                                              Michael

snapped apart . . .
I get the wishbone’s
short end                                                                        Garry

last date—
we split our chopsticks
in silence                                                                        Michael

        she studies herself
        in the cracked mirror                                              Garry

rain splatters
the uneven sidewalk—
I break my mother’s back                                               Michael