Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Before you were born

Your small hoofbeats ran circles in your mother
And I had not known love could eat the world
Your two hearts so small, thundering
the world so bright and sharp

A drowned man sang with a broken voice
you came, in a blue panic
A knotted rope around your neck

Your aunt held your mother’s hand
And I stood, overwhelmed with joy and terror and
a kicked hornets nest of doctors

Your tongue was out to taste the air
They told us, gravely
Of your beautiful pony markings

Under lights, at first she could not hold you
So I told you to her, like a story
Your hands so strong, the wet pooled still
In your eyes, each song of your breath
Till they consented to give you
To that wonderful world that you had left,
The sweet home and hive that is your mother

From you I learned to demand sweetness for her
Learned the terror of your loss before your first breath
Learned howshe has broken herself
Again and again, to bring such wonder to the world

You six, who are one, who are my heart
Have taught me what it is to be a man
What a life is, what price hangs from it
how quickly I would lay mine down
for one more breath of yours

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