Image of a Mother by Yash Seyedbagheri

I lay out cards with images. Try to match them.

I need two mothers.

Two apples. Two squirrels.

I can’t find either of the mothers with the sly smiles, tender pride in their eyes.

I keep those cards close at night. We love you, Nicky, the mothers whisper. We truly love you.

The mothers have been with me since I was ten. They listened to me, question why people lie. Leave.

I find two houses, two fathers. Ransack closets, sofas.

Have these mothers left? Was I too inquisitive? Did they also find me sensitive?

I lose the other cards.

What’s next?

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