when they asked for your time and place of birth
i lied. broken stereo clocks glow halogen
in backseats of minivans, and crimson
drips down thighs all the same. you came
out of me with inkpool eyes wide open. i fell
asleep on a highway overpass
cradling your buddha head in my hands.
six years pass. only my wilting hourglass body
silently measures time. i am cracked
fingernails, brassiere falling from sharp shoulder
blades. but i’ve come looking bright-eyed just for you.
“mama, who’s left their wristwatch
on the counter, whose pocketknife lays
underneath the mattress?”
shh, never mind, never mind. withdrew you
from catholic school the next morning
when you puked all over
the nativity scene.
dusk falls, and this waning moon casts floodlights
on the slums of our eden. you tell me,
“all i want is to fall asleep
in a revolving chain of humans
where everyone is both simultaneously
holding someone and being held.”
i know about the hollowness of carcinogen
mornings, searching for dandelion
between sidewalk cracks. oedipus blinded himself
with pins, but i birthed you with inkpool eyes
starless as the afterlife.
now you are the only one
carving notches into my bedframe.
twenty two years later, you still need me here
to tell you,
“sometimes even the clouds shiver
from the wetness of their own
you look like a baby warthog
suckling on my chest. and when dawn
rises, i will part my dirty hair
down the center while you stare
at my pale, freckled slabs of flesh
washed in northern lights,
wishing you could come back
into the womb.