A mother on fire sits up and smiles through the flames.
I will be with you wherever I go.
A mother under the knife cups nothing in her hands.
You are made of me. You are dawn
and wind and dirt climbing free
from the earth. You are made of me.
A mother squeezes the arms tight, too tight.
I need a minute. Please. Just.
Be quiet. For a minute.
A mother unfolding her hands clenches her teeth.
Some muscle in her body must be tight as horses running.
This is my mouth. This is my brow.
These are my fingers crooked
and ugly at the first knuckles.
A mother tells a stranger that this is not her child—
some are bound to never know where they are going.
You are bluer than the moon.
You are bluer than the river.
You are the best I have ever done.
A mother dances, stomps. A mother
dances like a saxophone taps.
I carry your heart. I’ve eaten your heart.
I’ve eaten myself eating your heart. Don’t worry.
I gather your tears and eat those too.
A mother was a child once without love. She calls the earth a person.
In the beginning, no one needed to be told how to become a person.
I cannot undress our ending, soften
the panic of loss. If you stand
as evening in forgiveness of the day—
it’s like that. It’s like that, child.