I Am Not Trying to Hide My Hungers from the World Anymore

Not trying to wipe the smears
of gold from my chin

not trying to erase the decadence
of seeds and profanity  

of grease not trying
to pretend I don’t open

my mouth around the zaftig
pearls of rain in the middle

of the night or that I don’t love
the moment right before sleep

when I am most tender
and translucent my bladder half-filled

knowing I will have to get up
and pee knowing my daughter

will wake up before I am ready
the way I became aware of her

on a climb through the mountains
a heaviness in my limbs a gentle

premonition as I walked later
to the Rite Aid and knew in my hands

and I knew in my mouth
and I knew in the way my body

pulled me forward as I wept
with joy but also grief

that a part of my life was ending
and isn’t it good to know when

life is about to swallow you whole
take you in its arms and say

“Live, bitch, live”
and you believe it

and this is how I will carry her
from her crib and open the curtains

partway not ready to let the
world in the trails of smoke

and exhaust winter-blue 
as Cat Stevens’ Mona Bone Jakon

spinning on the Crosley  
that opens like an old suitcase

when my daughter stands
on a chair lifting the stylus

from its perch guiding
it to the starry chatter

that hisses between songs
wondering what will play next

From I Am Not Trying to Hide My Hungers From the World (BOA Editions, 2021) by Kendra DeColo. Copyright © 2021 by Kendra DeColo. Used with the permission of the publisher.