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In desperation, I lock my bedroom door against my daughter. What is grace? Here are my arms,
mother. Here are my hands. She pounds, this child who transcends time. I lock the door against
myself, just a minute, I think, trying to calm. Mother, my neck, mother, my ears. We are desperate,
the guilt enormous, her face red and hot and hardening. I am on both sides of the door. Here,
mother, here. Take me back. Daughters, we offer our selves, the bodies we share, the rage we learn
to quiet. Our mother out of reach, the body we claw and crave.
Callista Buchen is the author of Look Look Look (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and the chapbooks The Bloody Planet (Black Lawrence Press, 2015) and Double-Mouthed (dancing girl press, 2016). Her work appears in Harpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Fourteen Hills, and many other journals, and she is the winner of the Langston Hughes Award and DIAGRAM's essay contest. She teaches at Franklin College, where she directs the creative writing program, including the Carlson-Stauffer Reading Series.