From "Winter: Aphorisms".
FROM "WINTER: APHORISMS
A pirate's sword is not a cypress, but a cutlass. Can you say
Take out your pacifier and say cutlass.
Ho-me. Ho-me. Ho-me. Ho-me. Mama, you ho-me?
I can't hold you right now, sweetheart. Mama's writing.
I ok. ok, sweetie. I ok. ok.
Mama, kiiih? Of course I'll kiss you, sweetheart.
Mama? Mama? Mama? I ok. ok.
Mama? Mama? Mama? Mama? Mama?
The older one speaks. The younger
is in the threshold of words: of
consequence. The slapped cheek
when he takes his older brother's
light saber. The crash if he walks
in front of the swing.
There are reasons to cry. Reasons to break, to be
bowled over with the loss, such as: we are living in the forest
as it dies. We watch the trucks
leave our valley each day, filled with the bodies of trees.
Harrowing relentless across earth.
And other bodies around us.
Touching one another
increasingly. Steadily to know--bodies
of all our knowing
and then of our forgetting. Our sons. Each other.
Have we loved across the inconceivable
time and distance, across bodies we are told
we cannot know.
Mama, Mateo has one of your special medicines.
Looking out of the shower: Mateo, will you put that tampon back,
It doesn't taste yummy.
Oh! Not yummy! He puts it back on the counter.
No, Mateo, it's not yummy--it's Mama's, and it doesn't taste yummy.
Pulls the shower curtain back: Mama it's not yummy!
into the sternum: my baby taps me there, says: Mama.
Says: nuh, nuh. He means:
nurse. He means: nurse the demanding
memory outside of oneself. He means: get
outside the house. Outside in the rain
drive yourself, Mama, in or out, Mama,
of the drive of the rain. He means: give.
He means: get. He means: unstopping.
In the middle of the night the baby smack-smacks my breast,
I ignore him. I roll away. He crawls over me to get again
to the breast-side, still mostly asleep, himself.
Smack-smack-nuh. Smack-smack-nuh. We are both almost
without nursing. When from the silence he yells, mostly asleep,
NOW!! Slaps me across the face. And then we do sleep.
Holding oneself in right relation
to the gallery of living and breathing commotion: there is,
more holy to me than this snow falling at night.
Snow and my children. Or, shamelessly, the trees holding themselves
aloof from the snow-covered ground until bending, bending,
broken at it.