To My Mother’s Tumor

by Shannon Derby

I will crawl inside of her and force you out because this womb was mine, is mine and will always be mine and you can’t have it, you don’t deserve it; you are not really a part of her but more like an intruder that says This is my home now, you can go sleep in that bed of mosquitoes in the grass and I won’t have it so I’m coming to reclaim my home inside of my mother and protect it against the changes that you bring to her body – her defeated eyes retreated into her skull; the concavities of flesh that did not previously exist – and I will sit inside of her and wait for just the right moment to destroy you just as her father’s father’s father sat in his attic during the Civil War keeping an eye out for the other, the Northerner, unable to tell which uniform belongs to who because everyone is coated with dirt and grime and exhaustion, wondering why he came to this country in the first place and hoping and praying to a God whose existence he only acknowledges when he thinks he is about to die, all the while lifting his rifle and staring down the long, sharp edge of the crudely attached piece of metal and pulling the trigger only to realize that he was already spotted by the enemy, already dead, his body already seared by the bullet; but you see, I see you sitting there quietly trying to duplicate to other organs, her ovaries, her stomach, her breasts, and you won’t see me as I creep up behind your hard, fleshy back to shoot you with bullets or lasers or darts and if that doesn’t work, I will stab you with the bayonet I found in the basement.


Shannon Derby currently lives in Dublin, Ireland and is pursuing a Masters in Irish Writing at Trinity College. She writes fiction, which has appeared in apt: a literary journal and Storyglossia, spends a lot of time at the library, frequents pubs, stomps through rain puddles when she’s wearing the appropriate footwear, writes academic essays on topics such as terror, sexuality and grotesque bodies, and eats an obscene amount of Cadbury Crunchie bars to “get that Friday feeling,” all the while longing for her loved ones back home in Boston.
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