Page 42 - WTP Vol.VII #3
P. 42

 beNJamiN Garcia
On the Slight Cruelty of Mothers
Just look at these hands, holding my small palms in hers. They have never had to work. A day in their life! She spit into one, shut the other over, rubbed them together, and with her hands on my wrists made me comb my hair in place. You want to be a hand- some boy.
I brought her a pink rose, but in one pull she stripped off all the petals, and made me hold out my hands palm-side down. I thought she might strike them. Instead, she licked one petal after another, placing them on my fingernails. I could do this all day when I was a girl.
And when I watered her roses, she snuck up behind me, slipped a stem between her middle and ring finger, like a wineglass, stroking with her thumb the near-open bud, then simply: wouldn’t you like to have a dress as wonderful as a rose petal? Well, not you, digging her thumbnail into the flesh. But that would be something.
Previously published in PANK, 2012.
Garcia works in HIV/HCV/STD and opioid overdose prevention in the Finger Lakes region of New York. He had the honor of being the 2017 Latinx Scholar at the Frost Place, 2018 CantoMundo Fellow at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, and winner of the 2018 Puerto Del Sol Poetry Contest. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in: American Poetry Review, Missouri Review, New England Review, Best New Poets 2018, Palette Poetry, and Boston Review.

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