The Mother's Creed by Cat Dixon

Daughter, here in the fog of slumber 
we count sheep and we weep for
the endless creep of lust, the insatiable 
route of hunger, the deluge of suitors 
knocking at the locked door. Destroy 
the house and head for the garden. 
Eat the apple—save the core. Each seed, 
a man who has the upper hand, but you, 
with hay for hair—in the rain long 
strands that are pumpkin slime 
that lace the picnic table—slice each 
man open, nibble the loose edges, accuse
each of a crime. Love is a crime. 
See, this man’s forehead is sloping. 
See, this man’s mouth parting 
to lick his lips—an eyeless slick worm. 
See how each word is a feeble attempt 
at alchemy, each word a bruise 
on the skin, each word a lie. 

Cat Dixon is the author of Eva and Too Heavy to Carry (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2016, 2014). She is the managing editor of The Backwaters Press, a nonprofit press in Omaha. She teaches creative writing at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. Her poetry and reviews have appeared in numerous journals including Sugar House Review, Midwest Quarterly Review, Eclectica, and Mid-American Review.

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