Montana

Your mother moved a strange man into your house from Montana
A love interest she met on the internet
They had only met in person once
for less than a week
She’s looking for love in all the wrong places
and you barely talk to her anymore
Can’t give her the social interactions she needs

She’s lonely and you see it
can smell the desperation
but a child isn’t a replacement for a community
your hands are too small
your skill set modeled on cavitied bones

Montana will defend you later
When she’s screaming and crying at you
because you left some crumbs
under the toaster
when you cleaned the kitchen

Your mother told you to pack to move to Florida
To be with a strange man she met on the internet
They had only met in person once
for less than a week
You find a naked picture of him in your scanner later
all tan and body hair and baby oil
She said she found out he was cheating on his wife
with three women in different states
wanted to out him
and abruptly stopped making plans
to move
You had already said your goodbyes to the desert

Your mother told you to pack for late summer
You are going to live in Bisbee with an artist
and work
She’s been talking to them on the internet
They haven’t met in person even once
but it might be character building
She forgets at the end of July
and your silent relief
is louder than your quiet cries of protest

Now you are grown
You’ve been to so many therapists
because you want to know
how to be consistently mothered
to receive care without
waking up and wondering where all the adults are
and you can’t do it by yourself
not yet

You’re lonely and you see it
Can smell the desperation
But a single-mother isn’t a replacement for a community
You know as much
that you are tired of feeling like
a backpack full of sand
while your mother
is trying to swim

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