By Kyle Brandt-Lubart

There is always ancestry

Whitewashed walls and a high-rise apartment

Filled with soulless trinkets

Shapeless statues and stale silence

The fridge is full of decomposed decadence

My grandmother insists Depression-era waste aversion

Mingles with keeping up appearances

She serves me rotting milk in my cereal

Shames me for every bite I do not finish

She hides by pretending to be French

By passing


For a mother who did not condone abuse

For not Arabic

A woman whole

She is in shards

A hapless collage of disdain

For the weak-willed whims of children

I thank her for having us over for a visit

Dreading the next time our blood aligns

I will never get the chance to ask her to explain herself

And am left tonguing a bitter dirge

Kyle Brandt-Lubart (she/her)  is a poet, visual artist, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker who resides in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Brandt-Lubart works full-time, providing free therapy services to uninsured and underinsured individuals living with mental illness. She was a St. Louis Regional Arts Commission Community Arts Training Institute Fellow from 2017-2018. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Vita Brevis, Agapanthus Collective, and MoonInk Tanka Poetry Anthology, and she was selected as a Dear Butte writer-in-residence for Fall 2021. She is co-author/illustrator of the chapbook, It Made A Sound, which is due to be released in Fall 2021.

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