O mother of railroad spike and salt, dandelion and charm. O mother of candle wax, patient as a museum, see what I’ve brought back with the lips of your first lover: the unrequited axe handle. O mother, here is your constellation of poppies, red heads to hang above his bed. Here is his pant-leg of rust, his shoelace of guitar string. Here is your guillotine, O mother, built from sperm and birth-slap, aluminum and ipecac. Here is his arm of hemp, his lung of carnival tent. O mother, your wilderness at his ankle, your knuckle in his, your mouth mouthing hush now, sweet sweet nothing. O mother, here are your hands, parentheses around his throat.
Ashton Kamburoff is a poet from Cleveland, Ohio, and currently lives in central Texas. He is the 2017-2018 L.D. and Laverne Clark Writer-In-Residence and his work has appeared in Rappahannock Review, Cobalt, and Shadowgraph Quarterly, among other venues. He is the poetry editor for Profane Journal and the poetry co-editor for Opossum.