Mother Chops Tomatoes

Jessica Guzman

She presses the knife to the numb of her palm,
lets pollen drip from her nose, precourse
to the shallot’s mesh. She says,
“I always hate this part” and “Judge the artisan
by how she keeps her hands.” Impossibly,
her shadow-legs reach the countertop, body
a black wink, as an unseen cloud
cleaves the sun impeccably, as her face
finds above the sink a wind, the kind
you thrust your arms into. Her fingers sheer
and sticky as blood, she says, “You see?
When the doctor lifted you to the light
from my belly, this is how you gleamed.”

Jessica Guzman Alderman’s work appears or is forthcoming in Shenandoah, Pleiades, Ecotone, The Florida Review, and elsewhere. A doctoral candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi, she reads for Memorious