There is no sound to it

My mother is afraid to die in Frankton Indiana
because everyone will think she never left.
She seems scared that anyone would think her attached
to anything. My mother would love to be
a drifter or a mother and cannot conceive of both

I told my mother once I was worried I had seen the future
It was mundane and more about me than the future ever really is
and she seemed shocked she’d have to comfort me
about something so self indulgent and how doubly I was indulging in it
by being afraid

Running my tongue over my lips until the spit is begging
like a dog between them I do not reach to wipe it
because I am suddenly reminded of an old game I used to play,
tricking myself into thinking I’m further in time than I am

If I had any control of pain I’d scream with my eyes closed
Like she told me I couldn’t and make people think
I was raised wrong

But I don’t scream right
nobody taught me how
I shake every part of my throat and my fingers too
And I make a quick mean motion inside me
until it is not inside me anymore

Josie Levin

Josie Levin is a visual artist and writer whose work has appeared in several publications, including Kitchen Table Quarterly, Unstamatic Literary Magazine, and Witness.
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