to pass on for another to foster as their own when you are the body it calls home.
for my Donna and Mama
speak home, and watch memory surface in the air
like a hologram. watch ground
flatten to make room for sky. watch sound
simmer to syrup as one man begs in the ear
of another man’s wife. pause until you hear
a sluice of ice inside a can tilted down
like an hourglass for your aunt that craves the burn of cold. now drown
the familiar. hold it below like a fish too small to keep. prepare
for the flood that washes you back onto your mother’s doorstep
before the tide comes and claims you as its own,
speak home, and watch memory splinter into clover,
watch as your hands spin shadows into silk webs
translucent and thin,
but broad enough to cross over
ten years felt long enough to avoid
that road, the one near the tracks paved thick
and high, a swollen keloid.
two lanes of magical black isthmus
cleaving the seas of two states
tingling with a phantom
humiliation you can’t soothe. guilt becomes a part of your face.
you can’t even fathom
how you’d look without the girth of worry bloated
under your eyelids like a fat egg sack.
you’ve known the weight too long not to hold it—
it’s too late to bring it back
to pass on for another to foster as their own
when you are the body it calls home.