Published on Academy of American Poets (

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.


Tina Cane

Tina Cane is the author of Once More with Feeling (Veliz Books, 2017). She is the founder and director of Writers-in-the-Schools, Rhode Island. She lives in Providence.

Date Published: 2019-01-01

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