I Fear
—a poem by Eric Cline

i am cutting
off a limb, severing
skin from sensation,
castrating nerves ‘til
i feel nothing but

a phantom mother, her
touch amputated from my
mind, and yet it lingers

like the drip from a faucet
that can’t be closed
completely, drops adding
up one by one ‘til
i drown beneath the weight
of tears that do not surface
and will not stop—

when i was nineteen
i turned my back on my mother
without giving her
a second glance—

i was strong enough
to let go of her

hand, lest
i have kept
on to feel it
become too

Eric Cline is a gay poet currently residing in Dumfries, Virginia. He received his bachelor's degree in psychology and creative writing from Longwood University. His work is forthcoming in Crab Fat Magazine.