Two Poems


The temperature drops,

and their heartbeats slow,

so the sea’s ebbing body gives them up.

With every swell

a new scattering of jellyfish, tentacles

frozen stiff. Clots of seaweed,

clams coated in ice. Still starfish.

I gather the unmothered in my arms.

I can find more of everything,

stranded on the sand.

I can hear sea lions call out

from cavernous caves.

Infinity is Full of Poppies, Not People

The nurse shows you a baby that is not yours. You tell her,

There’s been a mistake. That you are counting down the days

until you’ll meet your daughter. Your beautiful baby, coming

any day now. Listen. This is just what happens to seeds. A seed

is a little plant that has not yet started to grow. A seed needs

many things to grow. Food, and water, and sunlight. You can

plant seeds yourself. You can plant them in eggshells or tin cans

or painted flower pots. Some seeds grow slowly. Oak trees grow

very, very slowly. But some seeds grow fast, pushing up and up

and up. You don’t remember your body giving her up feet first.

Reaching down and feeling her toes. But you remember that

underneath all those big sounds were very little sounds: new leaves

growing on trees, and birds building nests, and laying eggs in them.

You remember the blooming wildflowers, the cow and her ringing

bell, the mice scampering into the warm barn. The twitch of their

tiny tails. You remember that infinity is full of poppies, not people.

And the rabbit in the pasture. You remember her, too. She was

munch-munching on lettuce leaf. She was wearing the face

of someone you love.

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