amanda talbot

Jennifer Garner Becomes my Mother

Jennifer Garner and I are on a nickname basis.
“Mandy,” she says, “do you want my banana?”
I accept this gift from Jenny but I don’t want to eat
it unripe. It’s too hard for my teeth.
She explains how to peel. Her hands
are as soft as Azuza rock.
They are 30 years old
and a little blistered, but lotioned.
Jenny is like Google—she knows so much more than me.
She knows how to quit, when to start again, to sing
when everyone abandons you at the park:
“Twist the top, pick a side.
Pull to reveal the fruit inside.”
Jennifer Garner is mother moon,
helps me sleep sometimes
when my own mother doesn’t,
my mother who is like an old woman sometimes
who I have to help comb her Einstein hair
after hours of banging on her bedroom door.
She lets the TV marinate on her brain
as if she were in a sensory deprivation tank. 
She dreams of the pretty news anchor,
wishes she were her.


Amanda Talbot is a college student at Penn State University pursuing a degree in Spanish and minors in Portuguese and Italian. Her work has appeared in Germ Magazine, Ralph Munn Creative Writing Anthology, CrashTest Mag, and other magazines and journals. Her short poem titled “Grandmothers Have Favorites” has received a Third Prize in the CMU MLK Day Writing Contest. She works as an online English language tutor and lives in State College, PA.