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I LAY CURLED ON THE SOFA


--by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming


Sunday morning, I lay half asleep,
curled on the sofa.

She broke eggs into the biggest bowl
that we had had for years,
saving the yolks for a dish
she had not long ago invented.
Violent stirring ensued.

She called me ugly.
The words were distinctive,
despite the mixture of noises from the kitchen.
The coffee maker burped helplessly,
as if in an epileptic fit. The fan.
Somewhere, outside, a football
must have hit something.

She said I was like a flat-faced frog
when I declined to respond.
She said there were two screens between us,
even on the good days:
the television, my laptop.
Then the stirring stopped.

I pretended my mother hadn't been talking,
as I lay curled on the sofa,
half awake.

("I Lay Curled On the Sofa" was first published in Blue Fifth Review (Fall 2008) and reprinted in the anthology Not A Muse (2009).)