Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Story for Our Daughters

I stood in front of my morning classes today, dumb as cheese. There aren't words. I can't comfort. I can't understand. What do we tell our children? How do we explain the man who hates? 

I can't grade or plan or propose. At one point, I heard myself reading André Breton's "Choose Life", I heard it like I was a pigeon on the windowsill outside myself. I don't know if I taught anyone anything.

I went back to my office and wrote. I sat in the dark and ate chocolate.

A Story for Our Daughters on Tuesday, November 9, 2016

When God saw
what he’d done,
the cancerous rib
in one hand,
his sleeping child
in the other,
he shaped us
from the squash
plant instead, braiding
vines and gold
blossoms into bones.
Then he made
us dream survival
was the only
gift he had
left to give.
All else was
claimed or taken,
he wasn’t clear,
still manic, dazed.
Then we woke,
my dear daughter,
all of us
in a borrowed
world, the salt
and rock and
spine of it.
The sky boiled
with comets building
someone else’s light.
Our partner was
terrified. He chattered
in the dirt
while we ran
our hands over
everything, my daughter,
thorns, teeth, words,
none of it
ours, the embers
and splinters, shards
of spilt creation.
The blood moved
through our hearts
like soldiers stamping
through a tunnel.
Nothing could kill
us, not even
love, not us.
This is it,
my daughter, survival
given to us
like territory, like
borders, like dust.