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.