Today I am my sister’s sister,
my father’s brow,
my mother’s squirm,
urging my spirit to light.
I touch my abdomen,
each daughters’ doorway
opened for a few fluorescent minutes
then sewn shut
for good, if not for now.
I remain here,
even when my form bruises, blooms,
or falls away, by way of what it does
or does not say.
Instead of saying It’s getting out of hand
won’t you say I need it in my hand
won’t you say
—a cardinal startles.
I do not mistake it for another red thing:
the flower on the soup bowl’s bottom
blurred by golden croutons.
With twitch of beak & eye,
the bird returns me to any tree,