I drank black tea with honey and wondered

which verbs I shall use to murder my mother, already dead,
or which adjectives will adequately capture the way she hid
love, not on purpose, I know that. She was losing her own
syllables. And still. And yet. I will extract the mother
who wasn’t there, replace her with the mother who was—
an invention of my accomplishment. Every psychologist
from here to Timbuctoo says I must mother myself,
so, I buy yellow sunflowers, place them in a crystal vase
by the window. There was a time when this felt performative,
but now, the flowers shine so brightly, all the mothering
on this fading star of a doomed planet cannot compete.
I sing a vowel of pleasure aouiiiiii, and feel understood—
yellow flowers with their hallowed corollas and anthems,
stigmas and anthers—Shine on baby shine on, they coo
in a greener language than I’ve ever spoken. I add streams
of clear water to keep these beauties alive, hoping to mother
some small living thing—how else will I stop the sad ghosts
who follow me repeating unkind words from their own mothers?
I know she loved me in her way. She said so at the end,
the way the sweet syllables came from her dying eyes.