Youngest Son

We used to laugh and say     he was naked and flying around with the stars

before he came down to be with us     these days he says     When I was dead

because naked means sexy     and he’s not a baby     knows what sex is

would rather be dead     but I don’t want the word dead around my kids

or around any mother’s son     so I say Honey, you were never dead

and he says    Then I fell like a raindrop into your mouth     and I say Yes

how the other morning I said Yes     when he called fog    a cloud on the ground

how he was formed     is forming     from rain in my mouth     just as one day

I believe he will go out for sweets    & come back     just like that

for some boys like him     it may be that easy      to not be a cloud

called back to its rain place      for salt tears not     to fill the space       

                                                                                 left in his wake

From Body of Work (Veliz Books, 2019). Copyright © 2019 by Tina Cane. Used with the permission of the author.