queen of cups

Your mother is an iron curtain and your aunt is a garden in bloom.

Not for the last time, you wish that she was your mother. She smiles the way you wish your mother does: bright, effortless, and full of laughter. Her hair is warm blonde (a color you've never been able to get with all your dyes), and you always fall asleep on her shoulder when you talk late into the night. Breathing it in is heavenly, and no matter how many times you use her shampoo, it's not the same. No matter how many bits of jewelry she gifts you, no matter how much you try and imitate her sometimes, you can't be her. Your reflection stubbornly refuses to soak in her light, to emulate everything about her that you love.

You're still not ready to tell her about all the ugly feelings in you, about the envy, about the anger, about the want. It doen't seem right to lay that at her feat. Not when she's one of the few people who cared about Teddy, about how much you loved him. She was the one who pulled you inot a hug, days after you'd given him up, the one who softly told you that maybe, you could have made it.

It's so fucking selfish, you know, and it's so ungrateful to want this. But if she had been your mother, and if he had been your father, things maybe would have worked out. Things would have been okay, and you could have swallowed things easier. Maybe you would have never even known.

But life didn't turn out that way. You were dealt a different hand.

So it's easier to listen to her honeyed voice, to talk softly with her over the phone and dream about what could have been, about the woman who might've been your mother, if life was a little bit fair.

queen of cups (reversed)

Your mother reaches out to you and takes your hands in this dream. It's one you've had before: her eyes looking softer than what you know they are, her voice gentle and soothing, her smiles warm and welcoming.

You know your mother and she is not that sort of person, never has been. There's a reason why your mother's marriage was a business agreement and not a loving partnership. You know that your mother's dark hair functions as an iron curtain drawn between you two, impenetrable, dark and forbidden. You have only felt her warmth a handful of times since you were a child and she said that you were old enough to know not to make such a production while you cried. You know that your mother loves you, but you've never been entirely sure that she has liked you.

In your dreams, she does. In your dreams she smiles in that rare, shining way of hers that you know is on your face but so rarely on hers, that you understand to be one of the few genuine parts about you. In your dreams, she is happy to listen to you spill your heart out, she's not desperate to connect with you out of a sense of pride and claiming.

n your dreams, your mother is the mother you've always wanted and not the one who's expressions are all one thing: control.

And always, you open your mouth and say, Momma, you love me for me, don't you?

And she always says, Of course I do.

As always you wake up and you're not so sure that you want to see her ever again. And the guilt that you should feel? It never shows up.