Mother

Christopher James

 

When my mother says it’s nice to see me again I know she means her love for me could fill a lake, because when she told me she left a lizard in my room it was a crocodile, and when she said this would hurt just a little she broke all my fingers with the claw of a claw hammer, and when I left home and got a new apartment she came by while I was asleep and pushed rats and cockroaches through the letterbox, and when I met Isadora she stopped eating for a year, not even teaspoonsful of sugar, not even when I tried to force them into her mouth. And when father died she told nobody, let him stay seated in his usual chair too close to the television because he had poor eyes but refused to wear glasses. On the phone she gave me his love. And when I had severe kidney disease she gave me hers. Her kidney, that is, not her love. My mother has always understated her love. 

Christopher James lives, works, and writes in Jakarta, Indonesia. He has previously been published online in many venues, including Tin House, Fanzine, McSweeney’s, SmokeLong, and Wigleaf. He is the editor of Jellyfish Review.