The Pits

Molly Rooney

I.

My mother is a mountain at the bottom of the stairs
beloved and in love with,
we’ll all have a finger in the chimney corner

A magpie picking over stores of glinting resentments,
she chews on the could-haves and should-nots
sticky pits, she spits them out
you were an old barfly when I met you

Decay is so fragrant to feed the should-nots
Jupiter’s torn heart stains her teeth
your father used to say ain’t and y’all aintinyaawl

Outside her kingdom, she has fallen
the waterlogged belly a great honey moon stranded in my own herd
so tender for poaching, swollen with the would-haves writhing,
the feral thirst of sallow yew

I could have drunk the heart myself
as I marveled at the sumptuous wet nurse licking her wounds
such a shameful tongue.

II.

My apartment is where the girls can come smoke cigarettes
we eat raw that which would burn at the altar,
young bull babies heaven-born and belted-bound

With my face pressed against the quarry rock, I was not tame,
a name of my own still waiting as the serpent crumbled
shivering as though an infant, I saw her fallen still-life

the wretched Madonna on her knees.

Years later, I find the pits fit perfectly
in the space where the sad tin boy pulled my baby tooth
I hum with the pits in my mouth

a fate of my own snatched from the woodlands,
a plant of bloodless speech.

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