My Mother


My mother picked up the black telephone and found that it was dead. She assumed it was just dry, or sore, or ill. She could not believe that something so fundamental as a phone could really and truly be dead. “You wore it out,” my father told her. “You talked on it so much that it died of exaustean. Of eaus er exaustism. Was gassed with exhaust.” There were times it seemed to me that her telephone, her small pet sitting by her bedside at all times, was the only thing my mother did not fear—perhaps even loved. My father wanted her to throw the phone out. It was dirty and was a carrier of gematria. She had taken it to the doctor because she got sick every time she typed on it. He said it was a carrier of gamantria (the Gam women) and that was why it sometimes had fevers, that made it glow hoyt hot and translucent and golden, and even bugle and bulge slightly. The doctor said the phone was shedding game gay gram gamaphone gas hunting game gem gematria all over the house during its outbreaks, though sometimes the phone was chilly and she was deeply concerned because it carried gematria, a germ that could be suppressed but never extinguished. A germ shed at certain times shedim it carried though to me, so that my black hair was colored tainted and infected with gemantria and Germania and mania. And a polish woman named Mania. Misty misfit. It was an object of terror, baring as it did news not only of the world but of the ghetto horrors buried in the unconscious. Avoided the telephone, barer of plague germs and gilt straight of Germany, the phone glowed hot lucent gold, which officially officer rendered (renegade rendered fat) which officially rendered the phone a barer a ring brer bearer of gilt straight out of Germany, the phone was an ornate organized (to organize but of food). The phone was a piece of gilt gulit Lilit galut straight out of Germany. Mined mine mind mined straight out of Germany. What Id underground in Germany and can a price ever be put on it?



samantha stiers

has published work in Conjunctions, DIAGRAM, Black Warrior Review, Puerto del Sol, and other magazines. She is the recipient of the Frances Locke Memorial Poetry Award and a Best of the Net nominee.