Husband, last night I dreamt you were pregnant
instead of me. You wore my purple, flower fringed
maternity dress (the one I lived in when pregnant
though I claimed I hated, was tired of, but wore
because it was comfortable and made me look
pregnant instead of just fat) when your
belly ballooned. At one point in the dream
I cried because you were the one pregnant
of me, though I was excited for your experience,
that you would get to grow life and bond with the
child before she could smile or coo or grasp a finger
with her own, although you claim you haven’t bonded
with either of our children yet, not even the
who screams out, “My daddy’s home!” when you walk
through the door wearing your nursing scrubs
him to stand back, don’t hug you yet, until you
and wash your hands of the germs from the bus, the
or perhaps from your sadness at not having been home
with us all day in the first place but crowded with sick
and dead people and people going to work on the
Created not from the stagnant rib
but from the beating heart
I could not breed the fall.
I never held paradise.
I am not a piece of bone
blamed for all destruction.
In the cool mist of bliss
where velvet figs fringed
upon fringe of silken tents and willows
swept their skirts
rustling against ever-lit skies
of god that gold,
I was alone.
Weaved under a seamless shroud
what chance for wondrous gazing
up toward the patchwork of flickering
stars as they speckled the blackest night
with incandescence? What luminous slit
if darkness never fell?
An oak without limbs cannot reach
for the sky. If prostrate formed,
then formed discontented in the garden
of letting go.
Uncracked, the acorn
will never know its worth. Cached
for endless winters but never spent.
Might forget it is an acorn at all and not
a rock. A knob in a leathered tree.
I stopped pressing my ear toward an empty
my voice contained within itself the strength to
I split open
found the fruit I’d borne myself.
Bit into myself. Chewed each bite slowly.
And I was freed.