The Riddle, by Suzanne Richardson
You are waiting-
The plum pits of your eyes
Dull. You are so thirsty, you’re a
Yearning paper bag. You remember
The desert was once an ocean. Picture
A wave of salvation you can drink. The wetness.
You went looking
And you found your mortality. The desert at night
A place of beauty, but the path you walked
Vanished like a voice in a canyon. Just the
Swirl of chaos—any way is forward, any
Way is backwards. She reminds you of your mother-
The hard-boiled egg of her eyes
The lips parted. “Mothers are makers
Of death*”-they have little mercy.
They create things
That will die. Did you think
She could save you?
Now a half-lion, half-woman
Ponders your fate. You still wait. Why
Ask for riddles and myths in
Place of politics? Maybe
You would like death better
If you disappeared right away.
Instead of slowly fading
Like a myth in a language
No one remembers to
*inspired from "Mothers As Makers of Death" by Claudia Dey, The Paris Review
Suzanne Richardson is currently a professor of English at Utica College in Utica, NY. Her work has appeared in New South, New Ohio Review, and Blood Orange Review, among others.
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