Mom, You Should Know

james visual
Artwork by James Han

Daylight cut me from sleep

like a seam ripper but

the threads of a nightmare

were still knotted to my



like loose ends of a bad

dream where you were married

to a dinosaur in

dad’s clothes who swallowed you



Mom, you should know:


It’s hard for me to go

home when I see that home

is built on your broken

back and I try to help



I can no longer watch

you braille out a meaning

of cancer from some God’s

invisible will, through



Mom, you should know:


Two lungs never could seem

to hold all the air I

needed to spit thistles

in your face, but I still



even though they made you

bleed and sob and scar and

I’m sorry for the times

I was a dinosaur



Mom, you should know:


If dinosaurs still lived

they’d be lonely, searching

for meaning in a world

they could no longer call



so they’d rule without love

over those who would bear

with it, who would always

love them despite their sharp



Mom, you should know:


You always have more love

to give than you get in

return, but sometimes I

dream, in fear, that you will



everything you have and

all that will be left will

not be enough for you

to give yourself what you



Mom, you should know:


I went to hell and back

in the darkness of a

closet and I came out

a dinosaur, alone,



unable to trust you

not as my mom, but as

a believer in God,

even though you’d love me



Mom, you should know:


Since the man you married

refused to grow, to change,

he slowly turned into

a dinosaur, alone,



now he sleeps in your house

with a crown of your gold

on his head, gnashing his

sharp teeth and controlling



Mom, you should know:


I’m happy you are here

and alive, even when

I didn’t know if you’d

survive the spread of a



gone bad and rogue in your

body, but you did, just

as you did with my words

that sometimes ripped you to



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