surface of sear on my hand
that I hadn’t noticed for twenty years, until
my ("my") child, in his new, his childness, one day ran his
finger over and
(could we talk about what This is?) over Locus
he likes me to wave wildly at him from across the room,
to Mommy, he sings, So glad to see you!
Baruch ata Adonai, I say on Fridays
baruch ata Ada-bummy said my child
yesterday, pleased with himself,
the God I have pointed to wrenched
though he doesn't know that; though I cannot believe in what I name. Just
like a bad play,
energetically acted. Brian trying to not laugh (it's not his lost loss)
The child pressed the button and the monitor went black
He pressed the button and I struck his fingers
wept back from the retreating mother
grinding the seeds with the stone pestle
but they don't dissolve to a solution. they
permeate. they spread.
odor of : thrusting away my child by his shoulders
inside my throat, thunder
Katie says it's all a matter of degree but
I can't keep the window closed; it keeps springing
unclasp : locus of source of (daily, forcing himself
awake so as to hunt for the embrace.
as though aloneness might be healed) but
now all there is is the weeping for it
he kept touching my hand
memorizing the site of the mother
on phoning my husband about groceries I receive a set of tones
then more tones (Honey, hello? Hello, honey? the child mimics with his ringy phone); the click.
that night the husband, empty-armed: I can’t be bothered
to answer the phone, he says, taking out his pocketwatch
the child remembers what has been asked of him:
sobs "I'm not whining, Mommy"
has learned how to spell NO sometimes
using the zero
when he touched his fingertip to the absented pain
he would begin to love me. Me, waving wildly, No, go back!
at the center is the scar of the absent stalk
which had joined us, initially
free. at the
to remember me by, and at the underside of that, the knot.
Not that that one can be helped. Oh,
I get it.
Having spotted the hole in my tights
he pats the bare knee place: Mommy’s leg?
as in, Are you okay? Soon he will
as though able to ease
Sometimes I pick him up, to rock him in our chair;
sometimes I can't bear another minute
One of my current paying jobs involves work on a textbook
to ensure that
terminal punctuation of each element is treated consistently
This poem came out of notes I was keeping,
and it arose over the course of a month; assembling it felt like watching
a photographic image emerge very slowly in a developing pan. I was rereading
some old Julia Kristeva books as well, which probably accounts for some
of the poem's language.