Cultural Dissonance by Audric Adonteng

I closed my eyes, descending the
staircase of consciousness, drowning
the shouts. I didn’t notice –
The ground gave way, and I
landed in a forest.

The Sun blinding –
A mother stands as firm as the grass
Rooted in the ground. In place of my mother’s eyes
were leeches, searching for traces
of son. Sour milk endlessly emptied
from her open jaw, a carton left on an August
morning pavement outside the
grocery store.

The Earth’s jade palms
beguiled me into her arms, but I was
Inexplicably unforgiving. Her cries,
The sound of ants before they die. Her tears,
A reflection of me.

Skin, like mud, glazed
Across a beached skeleton. Rising from the mud,
Were vines, strangling a dead plant.
Tears dried, but the absence of her voice
Still seized my body, split
open my head, and tattooed
mother across my cracked forehead.

My headache throbbed to the
beat of my heart. Silence filled me,
The milk carton was replaced.
And my senses ceased to matter –

Peace. A subtle “why” filled my ears, telling
Me I could feel. It was the ants – convicting me                                                                            Of being a murderer. Sour milk seeped
Into my mouth and dragged me by my
Feet. My senses reluctantly
returning. Leeches begging me
to listen
To a whisper.


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