February 2013


  • Artwork by Sophie Roach
  • Editors:
    Tishon Woolcock
    Caits Meissner
    Anna Meister
    Nora Salem
  • Editor's Note:
    I Know You and You Know Me

February 2013

The Unfinished Mother

by Aichlee Bushnell

I. Prelude

Remember the yellow room, she says.

Bed of daisy blue linens.
Small chair in the window of sunlight, wooden.

Her favorite, most remarkable memory,
just in a day or an unknown time.

Her mother sent her away. A never born.
If only abortions had been legal.

My mother. Unloved raspberry of a fetus
become girl-child among ambivalent trees & dust.

She searches for a box to hide herself:
Some place to insert the most common letter.

A good size to hold something disposable,
or at least unwanted.

II. Verse

What is the distance between home
and a mother?

Today’s horoscope tells me
that you are a demon—I believe this.

The brief impossibility of myself
being mistaken: you exist.

Even in the absence of skin,
the silent passing of bones—

You stay soft and incomplete.

III. Refrain

Last night, I dreamt a closet full of spiders.
I hear you.

Leaning towards my doorway,
Consistent as sunlight—coming and going.

I am a daughter of sacrifice.
Alone, I search for the comforting sounds—

The surprise of laughter,
some sign of passing electric noises in the road.

And I wonder: In the dark of the other room,
what songs does your bed sing?

About Aichlee Bushnell
Aichlee Bushnell is a poet among other things. Currently residing in her hometown, Philadelphia, Aichlee has also lived in Oakland, California and Salvador, Brazil. A Cave Canem fellow, Aichlee holds an MFA from Mills College and an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. A former co-editor of 580 Split, Aichlee is currently the copyeditor of Generations Literary Journal and an editorial assistant for Coconut Books. Her work has appeared in Breakwater Review, Mythium, and Transition Magazine. Her manuscript of poems about Sally Hemings still needs a home but until then, you can find her writing at aichlee.com.

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