From the chapbook 40 Weeks (Finishing Line Press, 2012)
This is the week the heart starts
beating. Little bird, little lizard
little princess pea. Small round
stairway of spine. Small cleft
body. Small ache in my belly.
Everything moves over–
my insides rearrange. The heart
starts beating. My insides rearrange.
Your tiny form is half head, follicles
forming on your soft scalp.
You are growing fingernails
and toenails, sprouting like a planted
thing. Under your closed lids, your eyes
begin to color — deep and earthy
or storm-kissed sky. My eyelids tremble
in sleep. I dream an unfolding dream.
Little frog, there are pads now
on your fingers and toes. And
on those fingertips, whorls of skin
map their lines. Ten little starry
nights uniquely your own. You can
suck your thumbs, taste these new
autographs. I imagine the thousand
roads your life may take.
Little nymph, your skin is like
dragonfly wings. Everything
below is visible, illuminated
through your shimmering limbs.
Your blood travels in quick rivers
beside sapling bones.
Your heart is a small, red poppy
fluttering in a field of rain.
Little one, now you know the inside
of my body better than I do.
You have charted the flesh of my belly,
explored every inch. You hear
every bodily sound, know the dark
of my organs, the light of my bones.
You have tasted and touched what makes
me whole. You know the rhythms of my heart.
It is like I have always known
what to do. Of course this is how
it feels. The pain, the heat, the profusion
of fluids and fears. The breath, the body,
the hands on my body, your heartbeat
thrums, thrums, thrums. Head, shoulders,
fingers, toes, and a voice that makes the
world stop spinning, just for a moment,
to welcome you home. Little impossible being,
little baby. I always knew it would be you.