i find myself defending sunlight

after Keith Wilson

today my roommate called it generous, how all things grow from the warmth of one being. we laid our backs against the grass, leaving light angels. you could even argue the sun is a mother—no, an adopted mother, the kind you call when your real mother screams when terrible things emerge from her mouth and you wonder how long they’ve been inside her. the sun a real mother who waits at the end of your real mother’s breath. i could name a thousand things handmade by the sun: the grass below us, the rabbit i watched across the street earlier, the backs of my eyes, the clover i found with its third leaf split down the seam like someone was begging for a little luck. today, by the way, is national daughter’s day. my real mother brought me broth and rice in a plastic bag; she stood at the edge of my sidewalk and we didn’t admit the terrible things we said, not one. there are a thousand more things: the houseflies and their backlit wings, a dog in an empty house, every stained glass window. after my mother turned the corner of my street, i went to my lawn to fill out the angel i left behind—the two of us hopeful daughters, closing our eyes against our real mother’s touch.

TEJA SUDHAKAR a poet originally from Chennai, India, writes poetry that reflects her own experiences, many of which can be found on her tumblr blog. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys singing and painting.