A Poem by Ruth Awad - Believer Magazine

We don’t talk about children until we do

I come from two songs:
milk of my mother, blood of my father.

If you say my name I expect you to know where I’m from
and the sea that stormed me,

I expect you to kiss me here here and

Here’s the night America made: Are you my father, I said
Are you my father, and my blood rang out

like some immodest bell, like some guilty bloom. 
I don’t know my god so I must not know 

my mother—she tells me she was too fucked up to start having kids 

and so I kneel before her, 
I hold her hands that are my hands.

Half of everything I did was wrong:
see there in the curvature of the earth and my hips

that were made to rift but won’t.

A body exists on forgiveness. 
I forgive my body again and again 

until it’s unrecognizable:
a stalk of knotweed, a barricade of wild violet. 

I name each blade for the children we are told to have, 

children to inherit our unlivable world—reap now
what we have made.

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