9 things to write to Mother about

by Chi Le

last edited on Thu. May 19 2016

Dear Mother,

I rarely take the vitamins.

My fear is being lonely, no,
not with you.
These shadows can never alleviated.

I punch my heart into all the holes
brushed between the limbs.
The light of you
seeps through every crack.
The light of you
smooths out a coat of honey rapture
from everywhere I look.
I look like I have ever been.

These days I feel routinized.

Every shattered piece of metal
dubs the mindless confusion
with its rustling noise.

In leaving I learn of weight.

I am scared to be swallowed
without first choking something up.
Every point of contact irrationalizes
my docile being.

I only cope with the present, hence
I can be but the past.
I am more afraid that swallowing
follows no temporal continuity.

After being born, I am left
to propose my own structure:
An edifice of homely corners,
A well-lit hallway coiling in regress,
Some human faces to overwrite
dream-life distinction,
Some writing to remember you.

This original poem by University of Chicago student Chi Le was inspired by Leon Golub’s 1956 painting Prodigal Son on display in the Smart Museum of Art’s special exhibition Monster Roster: Existentialist Art in Postwar Chicago (February 11–June 12, 2016).

Produced in collaboration with Memento, the performance ensemble of the UChicago literary magazine Memoryhouse. Filmed and edited by Erik L. Peterson.

Tagged by