Haibun with Aphantasia

Sunset purls Lake Fayetteville golden. The margin punctuated with goslings as deeply olive-green as the brown of my mother’s hair. Their parents orbit the waters farther out, bow their necks to dabble the surface. Homesickness blooms in me like algae. Mind-dark, I metaphor the lake into a mother’s garden, goose necks into the stems of bellflowers, sun-sagged. In the distance, a canoe tapers away from memory’s edge, & the canoe is my mother, ultraviolet in the garden. After a morning heavy with weeding, she stoops in the swayback shade of the house, her mouth pink, patient as a watering can under the spigot’s drip.

A canoe’s thin wake
against the glinting water—
the lake split in two.

Jackie Chicalese is an aphantasic poet from coal country, Pennsylvania. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Salt Hill Journal, The Greensboro Review, the minnesota review, and elsewhere. She is currently a PhD student in Composition and Rhetoric at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. You can find her on Twitter @jackiechic03.