Immigrants Are Like
Inventing my Mother Self
When I gave birth, I felt like I had been gifted a civilization in progress. Slowly the disquisitions came and were eventually handed over to the preschool. Then, A Series of Firsts: Every kindergartener needed an enemy. We needed a tooth fairy, so she had to be invented too. Your faith in passion, coming early. The five dream jobs. The first time you got fired. The unclear hallway where you had either fallen in love the day before or Loana had broken your heart. When you began to “lose” library books, happily paying the library if it meant the removal of offending titles, the island materializing out of the long, white cloud. When you hit rock bottom because you lacked sideburns, the island metastasized, or perhaps merely revealed itself, now that the clouds had given way. And now, shredding my values like a molting bird so that I can better parent you, the island is so real I realize that I have been lying on the shore this entire time.
Courtney Hilden’s recent work has been featured in Voice of Eve, More of Us, Panning for Poems, and Coffin Bell: An Anthology of Dark Literature.
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