How many times the blood rush of truck, bus & subway
has passed below my window.
How often this body, meant to bend & breed—squat like
my mother’s, her mother’s & hers—has
paced instead, inside its head, gazing skyward for a noun or phrase to
shatter the glass of our locked cars & save us,
that might break over all:
raccoon washing its hands like a surgeon in the birdbath,
girl at the drive-through deciding only 42 percent of humanity
sucks, the rest of them hungry or high,
their wheels aglow like daisies, their wounds debrided, unbridled . . .
Jesus, Mary & Joseph, I have blamed you for everything—
the decades broken like your rosaries, our few family belongings
missing, glued or taped . . .
Back home, the air
is scented with Japanese lilac & catalpa’s orchid blooms—
all of us colonized, colonizing:
your body made to carry mine
in flame, to this,
of which I am but remnant, a speck
fished from a tear duct with your tongue.
Whose easy laugh is that I’m hearing now?
Whose loneliness, unbroken, goes rolling in the blood?
Copyright © 2018 Kathy Fagan. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Winter 2018. Used with permission of the authors.