Legacy

I cannot tell my mother

of how she hurts me

because she will say

her mother hurt her

I cannot tell my mother

about my brown lover

because she will say

she doesn’t understand

I cannot tell my mother

about her father

and his hands in my underwear when I was young

because she will say

she was his favorite

I cannot tell my mother

of love for her

because she will say

of course she loves me

yet why

can’t I remember ever hearing the words.

I cannot tell my lover

about my mother

or my tears

because he will say

his mother hurt him

and he doesn’t cry

anymore.

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