Issue #54



I can’t see my newborn baby, but she smells like pink and newspaper.
Like my friend, drinking expresso, who says she’ll fall in love tonight.
I can’t smell my newborn baby
but she looks like roses,
like my sister, who tells me she wishes she could stay
in these moments
My new born baby looks like the sky opening and closing
for wings,
like the breathing seafoam and bone sand.
I can’t hear her
but she sounds like touching your curls,
like octopi sucking up color
from boat graves in the bottom of the ceiling.
I can’t see her yet
but I feel her in morning and pools of footprints on water and ripples across white walls.
I can’t smell her
flesh frame, jigsaw,
bonfire puzzle of corsets.
I will burn her a bridge to cross over.
I can’t see her
but when I do
she is sniffing across the field for brown mice.
Birds of prey circling skin from bone,
corn husks papering their feathers,
and for the first time
I am not scared
for the first time
the birds are not here
for me

Nothing but a Grief

My Children, Before I Knew Them