He says I live far-far away as we build a robot
out of blocks. The heart's a dollar music box
he chose on his last birthday wringing every
handle for the song about a star. This year
a star ornament dashed all colors by an artist
the summer he was born. We hung it by
his window like the star he sings about at night.
It's not a star that fell inward long ago as its light
fled out. Every troubled night that first year
of his life I held him on my chest and called
his name into his sleep until he calmed
enough to watch the moon arc past the blinds
above us. Do you have two hearts
because you're a boy and a girl? You're a girl
but you're my dad and not and then he says
his mother’s partner’s name. Nothing changes
until it must I told myself when I lay down
on the surgeon’s table. Drowsy now he sings
again about the star which is a song about
a traveler grateful for the light to chart a course. 

Copyright © 2019 by Jordan Rice. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 30, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.