Jennifer Gravley, “My mother is a spider.”

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My mother is a spider.

My mother is a spider, silent and waiting. My mother is a spider inside a coat sleeve in the closet. She crouches in shadow in the toe of my shoe. She lives in the dark without worrying about her eyes. My mother can feel the smallest breeze, find any crack near a ceiling or floorboard. She adores corners. She has never asked anyone to bring her food or water. My mother inhabits the space between a file and the paper in it. She gains entrance to every box I have ever saved to move farther away from her. She mills about stairwells and entrances. My mother is a spider tattooed on the arm of a man who plays drums in his basement. The hair on her legs is his hair. My mother is a spider hanging from a tree. My mother is a spider in my bed. My mother is a spider tucked inside the mouth of a pillowcase. She lives in woodpiles and in outbuildings. All the things my grandmother said are tucked inside her mouth. My mother is a spider with a sac. Her sac contains me. My mother has a particular idea of housekeeping. She appears still, symmetrical. To stand next to her is to show your mathematical work. My mother is a spider inside my mind.

 


Jennifer Gravley makes her way in Columbia, MO. She is a writer of sentences and a watcher of bad television. Her work has recently appeared in Sweet, Rat’s Ass Review, and Bayou Magazine, among others.


 

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