Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

‘Dear Mother You’re Dying’: a poem by Aaron Kent


    Dear Mother You’re Dying


You are wasting away, you have
cavernous sinuses and hollow flesh.
Eat gracefully: there are those that are starving,
you told us this and shoved our faces into

Mother, ten years dead and veering further
right. We held a wake while you overslept,
I forgot your name, had to cycle through
every teacher I knew before I got Mother
you're like communal wine: a representation of 
blood. This is how we love each other now,
posthumously, wafer thin, before a father who
believes in spirits more than us. I've tried to save
you, but you don't need saving - there are scars
on your pupils, lessons embedded in the corner,
rope knotted red in veins across your milk-
lapped eyeballs. Your funeral was joyous, we sung
the only song you ever knew. Your body so pale,
so sodden in drowning, you are course corrected,
Mother. You were as small and tight as a
lock of hair at birth. I’ve tried to shut the

casket but your arms stick to the seal. You've
been dead longer than you were living, Mother,
and we’ve left a hole next to yours. Two singing
bodies. Too hollow flesh.