in a dream, i have a daughter & she calls me "mother"

so i bury her underneath the pine tree
alongside goldfish bones & cicada skeletons.
winter is full of holes & i spill out all of them.
she was soft like risen dough. un-baptized.
swaddled in newsprint like a fish. 
lately, i have been thinking about children.
on a bookshelf, i build a tiny replica 
of my bedroom in my parent's house.
bunk beds grow wild in the park 
where i walk & witness children
summoning demons beneath the jungle gym.
i used to do the same. hair wracked with 
wood chips. she was so hungry.
drank deeply from a bottle 
as i sat holding her. telling her
we come from a long line of haunted boys.
asking my body what it could know
about fatherhood. she does not know
how to cry & i do not teach her.
says it again later from beneath
the soil. calling me "mother."
but that is not me so i back away
from the wreckage. every time she crawls free.
sits like a centerpiece 
on the kitchen table. wriggling
or wrything. tell me the difference
between motherhood & grave-tending.
my gender grows as a birch tree
& then burns like a bush. nothing speaks.
only fire. we warm ourselves by it.
i feed her gold coins. later, 
we will take a road trip to a crater.
eat the cores of apples. wash my hair
in thunderstorm breath, trying 
to lose my "mother."

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.