Mama, when your son cuts his wrists
with your knife, in your kitchen
in front of his children

and you pry the baby from his arms
while he knocks you down
and we find him later

sprawled on our brother's grave
and he doesn’t know why
do you remember

stroking the neighbor's thigh
between the seats, reached-for cups
gone, the scrabble for keys, do you remember

slithering up the stairs, silk nightgown
stalled halfway
the sourness of demanded answers

the heft of a pillar candle
towards a mouth that talks back—
do you remember those nights too

or just the mornings after, rolled over
stories like stale news, a bad taste, the tongue
always going back to the tooth

to find it still gone?

Shannon Connor Winward is the author of the Elgin-award winning chapbook, Undoing Winter. Her poems have appeared in The Monarch Review, Qu, Analog, The Pedestal Magazine, Literary Mama, and The Ekphrastic Review among othersIn between writing, parenting, and other madness, Shannon is also a poetry editor for Devilfish Review and founding editor of Riddled with Arrows Literary Journal.