Mother — Port of Spain

by Beverly Jackson

From the bed, my head heavy as hibiscus, I watch her zip into a strapless gown, then sit at her dressing table. She touches Joy to her wrists. Across the veranda, the Trinidadian night is spangled like navy tulle. I breathe deeply, waiting for her perfume to make me giggle. I kick my legs, eyes shut as the tropics rain inside me. “Are you being silly?” she asks, studying her face in the mirror as she presses red lips to a tissue. I tumble to the floor, too small for this world, assaulted, undone.

Beverly A. Jackson is an artist making memories in Naples, Florida, living alongside an alligator in a backyard lake.

What is compression to you, both in general in in this piece? Memories, to me, are compressed life. Like little marbles, they rattle around in my brain, just a few quarks, not the whole hadron. My head is full of marbles, this being one of them.

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