A MEMORY OF WATER
It rains because another body has fled
its wounds. It rains because morning is sick
with drought. It rains because only water
has memory. It rains & someone’s husband
or mother or brother has become the past
participle of love. It rains because we must be present
when the world disappears behind cloud. It rains
because we look for our mothers under clotheslines & beds,
nestled inside the throats of birds, as we mother the rain
that wants to bury itself below ground, as we mother
thought & not deed, our gods pulsing like a murder
of crows at a firing squad ceremony. It rains again,
now, because the trees want to feel anything
new. It rains because blood stirs under the surface
of ash. It rains because sadness wants to be
repealed, as the fires we burn become the future.
It rains because silence is the circus we give our children,
while we pray to sorrow to take away the rain
splitting our throats. It rains because everything
fallen once knew joy. It rains because water wants
to originate anywhere but sky as sky breaks
open inside us. It rains because we can’t stop
becoming this world when we are lonely.
AFTER YOU ALMOST DIED THE FIRST TIME
I called your name to hear
a voice like yours echo
in the rime. I called myself back
from the lure of a man’s hands, the beggar
moon caught in my throat.
I called you mother. Not Mama.
Not Mom. I created distance
in that one word. The hull
& husk of your lung, spooned out.
Lobe by lobe, I called breath
an enemy. I was called orphan
by agencies. My father, already dead,
as you raised us alone. I called you hero
for awhile, then whore. Then leaf
that can’t return to the tree. Or maybe
that was me. I called the days grey
horses. I called it love
when moss overran the pines.
I called you through this animal
loneliness. I called you someone
I didn’t want to be. I called you, yesterday,
to wish you a good day. The sparrows,
forgetting themselves in the glare
of the windows. I called the day
forward to fold over our voices.
I called to say love is evidence
of all that you’ve kept alive.
Today, a daughter will come,
pale & unprotected,
to make me possible.
I will be ruled by no other god