Your mother used to say she would chew your food

for you if she could.

I saw her standing in the kitchen

stuffing whole steaks in her mouth

and chewing for hours

while you sat in seminars getting smarter.

When you came home she put

the ridiculous pink meat on your plate

gnarled with her saliva.

You swallow with a funny look in your eye.

Like someone about to be a genius or a murderer.

— Suzy Mesmer

Mesmer received a poetry fellowship from the New Jersey State Arts Council and has been published in US1 Worksheets, Hot Water Review, and Response Magazine. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry.

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