I write a multiplicity of shes, obscuring/confusing/making integral the illusion of how we see ourselves as distinct from one another.
Just before my mother died I dreamt of her sitting at a formica table in the dark end of a kitchen overrun with dogs and an elder who told me not to be afraid. I pour a tabby cat out of my arms onto her lap. I know it is my mother though I can’t see her face. She was emaciated, not emancipated. As in life. Later a dream walker tells me that cat medicine is unreliable and it is sickness I gave my mother whatever I had. Can this be I wonder cats following me in visions to this day. Big cats. Mountain cats. Booted black cats that belong to the neighbour. Forest cats. I am allergic to cats. Did I poison her I wonder cause her death hurry it somehow? There is someone else sitting at the opposite end of the table with her. They are fully in the dark, except for their legs hanging over the edge of the chair. I cannot see their face. I don’t know who this is. I live in fear of it being my son.
My mother and I are walking home in the dark snowy night arguing she lags behind in a cherry red coat begins walking through the park along the fence line there is another woman with us a younger woman we have been here before the younger woman reaches the fence first this side has woven openings in it for pedestrians to cross through the younger woman holds the fence for me I stride ahead and hold the gap open for my mother to cross over to this side I look back and she’s gone I know this has happened before just like this suddenly her coat is back on the other side of the bisecting fence line that side of the park is darker not backlit by streetlights every single time this happens in our walk same spot same crossover to the other side I was waiting at the top of the hill to help her climb over the fence and barbed wire back into life we have done this before too as she is about to begin to climb an ambulance arrives on the street side of the fence the ambulance driver cuts her loose through the barbed wire one of the attendants is a woman she speaks to me I thank her and she replies it’s no problem she asked them my mother did for a ride home but they say they can’t do it they have to get back to Toronto Western too many folks from our side of town keep dragging them out bringing out their dead they don’t want anymore of our salvage the woman hands me a broken piece of greyish white formica edges brown and paperlike they were nice about their refusal they just didn’t have any more room for the kitchen mess we were leaving behind when we disappeared disapparated we walked the brief distance and I locked us in for the trip we knew there were monsters the other woman I recognize as her lover is with us I make a mental note to call her in the morning