Mother conjured me as an adjective
   before she verbed me:

as disconnected (placenta notwithstanding)
as discreet (thinking I would never tell)
as distinct (in the way the outlines drawn
  around a victim of mayhem are distinct)
as free-standing but who among my kinfolk
  was ever truly free—

Or maybe my first mother just chose:
   to disentangle
   to sever my limbs from her torso
   to sunder, let go, let God (that bitch)

See literature & law, how they enshrine dichotomy:
   A Separate Peace
   separate but equal

while some musicians propose a different riddle.
See: A Tribe Called Quest’s Separate/Together
where we stand great among creation—

the process of bringing someone into existence—
the polar opposite of unmaking by separation—

the etymology made manifest as separaten circa 1425
just about the time the Portuguese began to traffic

in snatching the Fula and the Wolof, asleep in the teel.
Is this how the art of our disjoining became so popular

that now it’s not extraordinary to remove pearls from
the oyster, to poach an elephant’s tusk for her ivory?

From Blue on a Blue Palette (BOA Editions, 2024). Copyright © 2024 by Lynne Thompson. Reprinted with the permission of the poet.