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Twist and love and love and twist
I am the mother of monsters
I am a monster of mothers
Laundry and necks and necks and laundry
Step and monster and mother and step

A story can be grim but it can’t mother
the way bears do. The way they eat
their young if they will starve. I would eat
my young. I would eat my heart. I cannot bear
this dance. Mother of monster. Monster mother.
Mother monster. I will eat your heart.

Better to survive than bear
what will kill you. Bears have learned
wombs are not worth more than a bear. Mama
Bear is an animal fertile and wild and wild and fertile
this is what makes us mothers. But this cannot be
born. They do not like reminders that mothers are
monstrous. We bear life and bare life
strips us of that which makes

mother only only mother

(human is not used here not even once)

Hands rung and wrung hands
(Scarlet ringing necks and wringing necks)
(This is reserved for the stories in which I am)
(Step)(mother)

Womb born out, I am erased
Replaced
Stepping into my own story I
embrace my
monster

mother of monsters monster of mothers
monster of mothers mother of monsters
Twist and love and love and twist



Dyani Sabin is an author of speculative fiction, poetry, and science journalism. Her work has been published in National Geographic, The Washington Post, Popular Science, and Scientific American, among others. You can find her haunting a cornfield, chasing ghosts on the endangered species list, or on Twitter @DyaniSabin.
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20 May 2024

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