I mourn her (could’ve been) all the time

If I did not belong to her—
if there were no me—
no scar borderline on her belly to mark my exit—
I imagine I might see my un-mother
(my mother who’s not mine in this timeline)
one morning through the chalky glass of a café

She left behind our dead-end town after college
and moved to Crescent City,
spends her nights walking the cobbled streets
squiffy on the Blues escaping from corner lounges
She has married the kingpin of ‘86 varsity football,
brought up three sons with names that are dull and generational,
been lullabied by serene domesticity
and the city’s rhythmic rumble
She has never slept with a gun in the house
never raised her voice
never loved me 

Through the café window, our eyes hold
Hers move past in a vacant sweep
as if she has forgotten how to Look at me
with disapproval, maternal frustration, love

She cannot speak the name she gave me,
I imagine she tries though,
tries to love something in the stranger
that is left of me

I look away,
allow her to forget me for the last time,
let her hold onto this unblemished life
she deserves
a life as routine as the sun setting
beneath the boardwalk