Her hands pinch the pain in my mother’s head
out of its designated place-
like the resonating haunt of its voice,
stabbing, would stumble out
not to the heart but to all
the veins and arteries that make it;
after all, she’s a sum of its parts.
The heart mustn’t ache its way out
of itself and neither should
the weary hands that stitch
the rips of the sweater
I outgrew two summers ago;
like unattended customers at a bar,
her impatience sits on the crook
of her forgotten brawls.
But her hands feel soft on my skin:
measuring my sides, they wonder if
she’ll ever know my fit;
the lining of her skull frenzies into hills
but the inside seems like it’s been pulled apart for
some fresh air and a smoke to
clog whatever’s left to fit in.
My hands run over her shivering arms,
and my voice slithers back in
and my mother’s hands ache:
the sweater never fits.