for my son, enwombed
May you harvest your language from the alphabet of butterflies,
may their wings brushstroke your name on translucent scrolls,
filter air for your breath, teach you flight the way I can’t.
May you preserve the wisdom with which you arrive,
the metaphors through which you’ll first parse the world,
the moon always a ripe banana, always within reach.
May your fingers tease and probe all truths.
It’s not the grain of sand, as we hold dear, but organisms
wayward in their drift that, trapped, abrade the oyster’s flesh.
Errant breather smothered into loveliness,
the pearl has its own song.
If you drag it ashore
language loses meaning,
so bring your ear to the ocean floor.
There, neither fish nor son, eavesdrop.
Neither fish nor son yet,
call sister sister and lie awhile by the echo.
While there, bless the echo and learn
how to lie to me beautifully.
From Cemetery Ink (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021) by Mihaela Moscaliuc. Copyright © 2021 by Mihaela Moscaliuc. Reprinted with the permission of the poet.