The Poetry Project

Daniella Toosie-Watson

Mom Belly Dances and Sees the Dead

Sitting at my kitchen table, I watch the wind remember
my mom’s coin scarf. The wind is pleased by the shimmying leaves,

exaggerated by shadow and almost-gone light. I know envy when I see it.
But my mom wants to die. You’re old enough to live without me, she says.

I try to not cry in front of her. When I think about her dying,
I remember her belly dancing in the front yard, the purple and blue

bedlah orbiting her legs, her feet, rapturing through the grass,
her hands, flitting the air as if brushing back death. When I want to tell

her there are things to live for, I remember spirits of the dead
appear to her, and she envies them. Don’t look at me like that. You who live

without magic and miracle. I let out a deep breath.
The leaves rustle again.

Issue 19