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.