Glass Nobodies by Antonia Alexandra Klimenko

Medusa–from Greek; protectress; guardian
The owl and the pussycat went out to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat
–Edward Lear

1.
How I drowned
in my mother’s tears
alone and unrocked
is the part of the story I leave out–
how we shivered and swayed
in the shadow of the storm
how hurricanes
had nothing on my father !

Shiver and sway shiver and sway
That’s what I did as a child
that and stare through glass

Did I mention
we lived in a house of glass?
glass windows glass ceilings glass walls
How they called it a greenhouse
How I called it a fishtank–
no air no filter
seaweed for supper!
and green stuff growing all around!

People would have paid good money
back then just to stare
through our glass walls
My mother swishing
back and forth
in her Miami
salmon Beach chiffon

Did I mention
how re-lent-less-ly
sun and rain beat
on the windowpanes
while my father beat
daily on our dear mother–
our mother
Our Lady of the Aquarium
our mother
gasping for air
like a fish out of water

How we her children
lay weeping
in each other’s blood
weeping
in each other’s blood
with Jesus wading through
our tears
with Mary floating
just above us
How Papa
crossed himself
and all four corners of the room–
icons in every corner

Imagine my surprise
when
at the age of three
I looked into a mirror
and found my own reflection
And where was Mama ?
Mama
who died alone in her mouth
Mama
who dove
through a sea of glass
Mama
who could see right through us

“And, stay away from the mirrors” she’d warn
Ha, good luck !
That’s always a caution
when a hurricane’s coming at you
100 fucking miles per hour
‘’And, stay away from Papa’’
Shiver and sway shiver and sway
Yes stay away from my father
and other unanticipated flying objects

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4 Comments

  1. Too true. Wonderful poetry telling terrible truths. Respect Antonia.

    Like

    Reply

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