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Forget-Me-Nots by Megan Merchant

Forget-Me-Nots

by Megan Merchant

published in Breakwater, Issue 23

Today, my mother forgot the word for bathroom

while she was in one. She said dry room, nowet room, no

tell me, then what are the others called. I’d like to walk them.

At one point, someone taught me a word I’ve forgotten.

A room I was already inside. A marriage. A country. A war.

A man’s fingers cuffed around my wrist. Someone promised—

it is common, when learning another language, to lose

pieces of your mother tongue. Where the bar lights are also

a call to prayer, and the flowers aching the field are no less

yellow, the spider’s bite still poisoned, when I cannot

say their name. My mother will soon lose

my own and even though I understand the way of things,

I will hear the horses, in mourning, nip

at the electric fence, and I will not have the word for shock.



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