Thursday, November 10, 2005

Fertility Rites for a Daughter

I have followed the instructions carved into
the bathroom wall at the desert service station,
hints about how to trap a child's spirit into flesh
no matter how shiny and quick, no matter
how much like a ribbon escaping out a car window,

I have taken lessons from how the crows and robins
make their nests, sticking bottlecaps and barrettes
under my mattress, weaving twigs into the cracks in
my headboard

I have sewn spirals into the curtains, strung red prisms
from the lamp shades to hypnotize the fleeing light

I have opened the cupboard door and taken out the salt
strewn it into stars on the floor
so she will sit and stay, fascinated by the constellations
stuck to her soles

I have dug up the carrots and beets in the garden
beside the porch, left deep brown clefts for her
to rise out of

I row a boat, every Sunday, to the center
of the still lake, and feed
the pike rising to the surface
my fingerprints

I put a pillow under my ass and turn off the TV
Wednesday nights, humming into a different man's
neck each time, singing, come to me, come to me,
in a language only possibility knows

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