"The titles roll & then the mother"

Rachel J. Bennett


The titles roll & then the mother

sunning in the yard the look behind her eyes a clue to her

reliability but she's a good mother

she's just eaten the leaves her daughter brings her a clue

to surprise & maybe to absence

it begins when she asks her daughter what it means to kill

cue dark music cue dark sky

& they're in the brother's room the little boy they're tidying

his room & he's not there but

the father's there dear father what does it mean to kill

the daughter doesn't remember

her father speaking the daughter guesses what it means to kill

in an unclear season a blue room

the daughter's partly right what it means to kill is to take 

all the words from other people &

make them vanish the vanishing comes later & they're dead

for a long time the daughter &

brother & father they're happy sometimes & dead all the time

then before the credits roll they've

come back into hard-won lives & finally there's a room

full of books cue a song & the mother's

reading in dim light cue a sad song & the title of everything

is how to come back from the dead

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Author Bio: Rachel J. Bennett is the author of On Rand McNally's World and Game, both from dancing girl press. Her poems have appeared in journals including Big Lucks, BOAAT, Bodega, Interim, LEVELER, Salt Hill Journal, Sixth Finch, and Vinyl Poetry. She grew up on the Illinois-Iowa border, loves winter, and lives in New York City. Find her at www.racheljbennett.net.