Let me tell you a story about birth:
A girl came home one day
after school and the walls bent
around her, wrapped her all up
absorbed her back into the womb.
That was how it happened.
Except, the floor was covered in
broken glass and she touched it and got
her fingers all cut up and cried
an ocean over it. The ocean was the womb.
I know this. That was how it happened.
Except, she turned her pain into sea glass
I think or, maybe, it was a horde of fallen leaves
in the first place or maybe it was a field
of writhing snakes and they swallowed her all up.
Maybe, that was how it happened.
Except, that girl, the one in all the
photos, she learned to walk on water
and she danced out into the blissful
ocean and never came back.
She’s better off that way. I know this.
She’s better off with the ocean,
except the sharks come hunting
inside her head sometimes
so it’s hard to know for sure.
But, I know she’s in a better place, the womb.
But, maybe she drowned in the ocean. Maybe
no one ever noticed. Maybe a diver found her body
limp and broken, on the ocean floor one day.
Maybe that diver made a fortune.
Maybe, a girl is someone else’s fortune.
Maybe one day that girl just lay down in bed
and fell off a table. Maybe she tried to put herself back
together. Maybe she missed a piece. Maybe that piece is in the house
still under a table. Maybe the new tenants sold it at auction.
Maybe they made the fortune.
Maybe, that’s how the girl becomes woman
. . . . . . .– as someone else’s fortune.
Maybe that’s how it happened where the girl
went – into the ocean. That is to say her own body.
Maybe that’s why I can’t find her because she’s
inside me, lost or dead. Maybe that’s how I got here
– how the girl became woman.
Memory is a ravenous beast. It eats everything
in sight, memory, that ocean that lives in the body.
I don’t know where I came from. Memory ate
the whole house after we were done with it.
Now, this beast is all we have left.