9

For nine months you’ll watch the sunrise of your stomach
a perfect arch rising, casting rays across your skin
like silken ripples. You’ll look at these birth prints of your sun
during dusk time with wistful regret, soothing your skin
with bio oil, palmer’s cocoa butter,
any remedy from old women on verandas as they cackle
to the clack clack clack of domino tiles.
You’ll see movement on your stomach.
Tiny hands waving over your skin from the inside
where it’s dark and the sky’s uncertain
but for you and others it’ll be a thing of miracles
of a life inside a life, both fighting for the day.
The dawn will break like a tsunami and the flood will overturn everything you knew:
your strength, which you thought was small, will reach transcendent heights
on that hospital bed;
your voice, that to you was meaningless, will scream along with
the new cries of birth, reassuring everyone that
you’d both made it safe;
your heart, that to you was already content, will be indescribable.
And then comes the recovery:
red fingerprints on your new wall paper;
smashed plates
night howls
tantrums
new teeth
“a-big-person-in-a-little-person’s-body” moments
liking breakfast, then hating breakfast
wanting dessert for dinner
blue tongue from rotten sweets
trips to the dentist; drills and accusing stares
childhood, in a bundle: a racket, a mess, a stress, a love, a joy, a pest
before you’re in the whirlwind of spring
pacing the floor over first dates
locked drawers
sign posts on room doors…
but those things aren’t important because they’re dreaded and adolescent
the rays of your dawn are stretching ever outward
across skin, fabric, time money clothes and patience
but your love grows like fire
intensifies, recedes, washes, surrounds
like the waves of the sea
Your love reflects the joy of your sun, just as the moon dances in space, the only presence of light in the darkness of night.
Your love cannot stretch because you’re a mother
and your heart is already full.

Advertisements