for my son I have ignored you for a year. I have not dwelt on the soft fur of your arms or the way you rubbed my cheek with your own starry cheek. I splintered your hands away from my heart when you exited me. Of the men who have claimed my body, only you reflect my exact goodness, tragic as a cotton field ripe with bloom, but I have not dwelt on this either. Not in one year or three— the way you break open your own throat, singing, sculpting one world, another, or kiss a girl in my kitchen, calling her, Love, My Love. No: I have ignored you for a year or six, maybe. Not touching your feet or your shoulders to dab them dry. Not humming in your ear as I did once. Not holding your head against my chest in the sad night. I have not dwelt on other women who speak sweetly to you, laugh with you, or hold your head against their chests in the sad night. I have ignored you for a year or ten, finally severing the root, purging, drying out the heart: go.
Copyright © 2018 by Laurie Ann Guerrero. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 20, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.