After Othering a Child Through the Pitch
A cough forms as night in her weather.
I can’t tell if dawn is love, but I won’t beg
From the bathroom floor. I won’t beg the lawn
Not to be overgrown. I couldn’t care less
That it taps the window where I’ve sat
Listening to the sea in her
Lungs. A sound like loneliness. I’ve been
Lonely longer than I’ve been alive. The dead
Parent in my memory is a god alone
With the undying world. No one cares about the tulips
Or evergreen trees. That hiss when water meets fire.
I don’t fear fire. I fear the daughter
I am. The re-childed night I hold in my hand.
When to end when to begin means a child is the nothing
of a dream that drowns in me again. I will not save what does not want
Saving. I’ve been a woman long enough to know
There are worse things than dying. Strip the sky
Back to the pink. I’ll show you where the world
Hurts. Water listens & waits to swallow us
Whole. Beware, child. Necessity might mean we are
Too afraid of love to birth anything. Live me,
then let me go. Nothing lives unless we let it.
I Tried to do Everything Right, But Power
comes from within, a man says. And so. I gutter the fall
air. Lonely as my mother’s god. Where god is a place
no one can prove. As my doctor cancels appointments
while snow collects in clouds. As last year’s scans grow
heavy with galaxies. My breasts, not a threat while I am
unable to name the system of hard stars that constellates there.
I am culpable. I don’t wake when I should. Crater
to hope. The hospital system, overwhelmed. The dead hauled
into refrigerated trucks out back. Sirens, dark. So dark.
I vaccinate the sky. I stand accused of killing my own
desires. Some dreams might need to be carried to the ends
of our lives. I dream I am a woman who knows her own
power. I dream the ghost at my door is not my own.
Not Even Necessity Itself Removes the Power of Choosing
The river that climbed into the fire. That lit your hair
before it fell. That muscular eve. Where you thought,
I’ll fight for you. The spine, turning & turning, inside
you. A pain scale. That beast. Starved exit. You begged
only when the pain got too great. The hallways
of night. All eyes. Machines a measure of more than
confession. Three times now, you’ve been. Or fifteen,
not counting. That time & that time. You were not
allowed to be alone with yourself. The dead your body
held from behind. Beauty undid the eye. The distance
between touch & touch. Hideous, the halo that blocked
your sight. Even now, to cling to that which makes you
lose sight. A migraine, horizoning. How to feel yourself
again. Feel yourself. Feel. The skin you disassociate
a life from. Yours or yours. Uncarried. A woman
alone & unloved. Haven’t you always been. Too late,
the night recedes into the pit of the sea. You realize
you are glass. Becoming the truth of sky. If you were
sorry, could you carry life. Or death. Would you be
the woman in the river asking fire to love you.