Poem Written in the Eight Seconds I Lost Sight of My Children

Issue 7 | Winter 2021 |



Listen, the rain is slicing limbs
off the sky’s body. The body
is being dragged under a carpet

of reflections. The air swells
with last breaths. With the sour
aftertaste of goodbyes. Today

is as good a day as any to brandish
my big bad wolf. Being a mother
is not writing about flowers in spring

because where would I plant
the nightmares? You’re like grains
of pollen, sweet enough to settle

on the petals of a pretty smile
so I go straight to the fang
of the matter. Which is to say,

death is scrawled across our days
in a thousand different languages.
Its tales unfold in the hieroglyphics

of dreams. In one, a girl I once knew
vanishes perpetually into the jaws
of an afternoon stroll.

When is the right time to unearth
the generation of faces immortalized
on milk cartons, before or after

you chase a sparrow around the corner
of a building? On school mornings
I squeeze you close as we pass

a stranger walking his dog. I’ve spent
a lifetime measuring the amount
of venom laced in people’s greetings.

It doesn’t matter that I’ve invented
a rainstorm to flood the street
out of your line of vision.

Just for today, these walls I’ve raised
will keep at bay the ghost children
who never found their way home.