Two mosquitoes



No one wants to kill their mother. So then don’t kill her,

you say, as if I needed you to make that decision for me.


It’s not even worth thinking about, I say, she would never

come to me for that. I’m not that daughter. Then what daughter


are you? you ask. Second, I say. The strange one

with the elegant neck. The daughter difficult


to recognize as daughter. Did she, could she

come from me? Could she be mine? The daughter to be disavowed,


if any could be disavowed, if that were possible. Nothing is

that easy, you interrupt, and you’re getting carried away.


What daughter are you? I don’t know. Just not the one who kills.

Not the one who can be trusted with acts of kindness, at the end


of it all. Maybe you could be the one to sing to her, you say,

before. God, no. Are you insane? I will say, though, there was


this one time—this one time—What time? She asked me to make sure

her make-up was done. Her manicure fresh and flawless. The hair,


the skin, the body, you know. I’m to take care of the body, I say,

after. That’s important, you say, and where coldness can serve you


well, where lack of kindness can become a kind of kindness. No one

is that cold. I could never. Who could? Who cares about a dead body


being beautiful? Clearly some do, you say, and if this is about

proving yourself. Proving myself how? I ask. I mean, haven’t I?

Lauren Bender lives in Burlington, VT. Her work has appeared in IDK Magazine, The Collapsar, Gyroscope Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Yes Poetry, and others. You can find her @benderpoet.