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My Mother Is a Metaphor

                                    Karen Greenbaum-Maya


My mother is the neighborhood cat who goes after the birds.
The cat is the words I can’t remember, the tune I can’t forget.
The tune is the year the trees kept their leaves until December.
The leaves are the book I never finished reading, never returned.
The book is driving empty streets late at night,
the night I dreamt I found a man’s corpse on graduation day.
The corpse is the sky after four days of wildfires, dim as weak tea.
The fire is fire until there’s nothing left to burn.


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