If Holden Caulfield Were a Mother

Even children can be seen as worldly things,
not as souls with broken

mirrors. It then takes the mother,
a foundling in sacred grass,

to root in her infinance the many
poor decisions, the many

breadcrumbs swatting the floors
of a baby’s mouth, the drool

cascading niagras down a chin
that looks like hers,

sharpened rock from too
much death before thirty,

to find the screw in the grass

the children fester & fall.
Her nails are padded

from cliffs, from money, & with death
& that is okay because they root

even as she moves with a new birth,
a new fire,

even as the boy says seal in French
& it sounds a little too much like

fuck, she fingers the soles
of her children’s feet

just enough so they feel caught.
She will do this every time,

even as the words sung into their ears
about cliffs & money & death

feel medicinal yet heavy, & screw
in the sole of every virgin foot.

Read on . . .

Before Saying Any of the Great Words,” a poem
by David Huerta

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