We have no ritual.
In the garden, I plant snakes.
We drink ice water.
My mother stares at me across the table.
Thirty-three years apart. Strangers.
We gesture, speak alike; we speak in tongues.
When Minerva found Medusa had been raped in her temple by Neptune,
she cursed Medusa, tearing away her beauty, hair to snakes.
Mother orders sushi, then sends it to be cooked.
I knew her single.
Married thirty years, still leaf thin.
Dandelion seeds float.
We pass story fragments.
A woman without a story is no woman at all.
Matriarchy became patriarchy. A terrible woman, feared but powerless.
What does the word “forgive” mean?
That it’s all right?
That it didn’t happen?
That none of it ever happened?
You leave and you are other.
Outside you are other.
Without God, you are other.
Outside the great chain of being.
What happens when you reenter the room?