Poems by Dawn Montefusco



I’m sitting here with fake nails trying to
get up the courage to call my mother,
trying to type a steady email.
I wonder what I’ve become.
Age has me scared of drooping eyelids
and sagging muscles.

I can’t help to wonder if she feels this too.
I haven’t seen my mother in 9 years.

I have designer sheets and strong abs.
I have new glasses that hide my wrinkles.
I have an extraordinary bag of tricks
to help me look young consisting of
botox, coconut oil, and snail mucin.

I’m sitting here wondering if I should just call her.
My wrap-around couch makes me feel
absorbed in false comfort.
I think of my new four-wheel drive car
that gives me a sense of protection.

Now my mother only text messages me.
She insists on never leaving New York,
the city she was born, which is 3,000 miles away.
We used to go to the beach on Long Island
slathered in oil waiting for God to burn beauty into our skin.
We used to use eyeliner to create sight,
and blush to prove we were happy.

Would she approve of my fake long lashes
and dyed hair?

Where did my mother go?
She sent me a picture of her smiling
from her smart phone,
her old face withered with bright eyes.

I want to send her a picture back,
but I am afraid she will notice
my poor use of lip liner
and tell me I’ve gone too far.



God came to me disguised
as the ghost of John Lennon.
I felt his eternal blanket, a fabric
made of every piece of energy,
wrap around me like water.
I thought I was dead, eavesdropping on spirits.
It felt so unbearably blissfull, almost like
I wanted to let out an infinite scream.
I saw how everything arrives out of nothing,
the whole dance of emptiness and form.
John said he didn’t mind dying,
and that Yoko and he were still in touch.
I was never a fan of Yoko Ono,
but in this vision we all fell in love.
Suddenly there weren’t two sides to anything.
There was no story, no hero, no evil, no victim.
Sometimes I would turn my head and
have a quick glimpse back at emptiness,
at the starry sky and be drawn to the whispers
of angels gossiping about God.