My neighbor is missing
his right arm. He doesn’t remember.
Lacerations, missing pieces
on the edge of the table.
Take comfort in knowing the price
of Time, aging.
Hand scrambles inside an empty left pocket.
My mother wrote me letters dispelling myth.
I understood enough to be angry,
to boil over with defeat. Weeping in my bedroom for penance.
She sweats on the threshold, rocks in time
with my wailing on the balls of her feet.
Great-grandfather was dumped
by his wife into the Delaware river.
He was a gambler, or a thief,
I can’t remember.
Legend is a screw, stripped–
loss of warmth, sugar spilled.
Memory gleams on the countertop, a blade washed
in hearsay, dish soap, spit.
Post-it notes line my grandmother’s cabinets.
Her phone number, medication dosage,
daughter’s birthday. A twist of the knife.
The pause before a subject change
is too long, tell her again
that her dog isn’t here anymore.
Fog doesn’t always cloud her vision–
erasure is a kind of medicine.
I am attached to my grandmother with schoolhouse glue;
easily peeled apart, purple, smelling sweet.
Expressions are parallel, passed down.
A coarse brow, round cheeks, pointed elbows.
She mistakes my kindergarten school portrait for her own,
and demands, through tears, an explanation so razor-sharp.
Mayzie Sattler graduated from Boston University in 2021 with a BA in English. Several of her pieces have been recognized in the university’s undergraduate literary publication, The Beacon. Sattler is newly enrolled at Stony Brook University planning to earn her MFA in poetry at Southampton Arts in 2025. Originally from upstate New York, she currently lives and works in Philadelphia.