Darlings

You took your children’s names from Barrie’s Pan,
watched them disappear from windowsills
& over back fence palings

making hook turns around stars
then straight on til morning’s other side, the tomorrows
they knew better than
to count on.

& you held onto your goodbyes
lest goodbyes meant forgetting & forgetting meant
not finding their likeness in the sky,
tiny & surreal, pinwheeling
among zodiacs.

The picture book illustrations do not recall
the angled glint of knives on the bench
or the smoke-stained ceiling.

The fruity-darkness of broken skin
or how a bottle against concrete makes
a supernova bang, a spray of treasure
across the street.

Now you store their small, photographed faces
behind blue glass where they keep their kid noses
& crowded teeth

Michael missing one
where the old man knocked it out,
a kiss with the cap of his boot.

poet's biography ->