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My mother and I, in the interval between then and now, we spoke of desire only sparingly.

Each iteration became the others until there was a curtain of delicately sewn crystals across my face.

But when she made a new friend, a psychologist, and she told him about me. It seemed to be time.

We have the discussion over wine, at a dinner; at a family outing to an art gallery; at a coffee shop.

The walls of the grotto fade into and out of the walls of the home.

The psychologist says, were I a child now he would advise my parents to proceed differently. 

To help the child manifest the conviction of a certain self-knowledge.

A conviction of self I cannot recover, if I had it.

There is a difference between remembering a thought and remembering what it felt like to have it. 

The exchange of mermaids for a navy blue field. A coercion. 

For safety, ease, the ease of others. Lone birch.

A cubist portrait speaks, says, this is part of maturity.

But the troubled feeling is present whether or not it is expressed.

She writes poems about her own mother.

An imaginary middle between two points.

Each carefully held, crumbling paper bridge.




You sounded, and I thought you were addressing me.

I keep thinking no one will notice if I vanish and remembering people who might.

A peach tree orchard in bloom, just as the heavy feeling arrives.

Here's the space between two people, which is the same as the space between three, between four.





S. Brook Corfman is the author of Luxury, Blue Lace, chosen by Richard Siken for the Autumn House Rising Writer Prize, as well as two chapbooks: the letterpress Meteorites from DoubleCross Press and the digital collection of performance pieces The Anima from GaussPDF. @sbrookcorfman