In Being Your Mother

I have practiced the sneaking away
of a body;
the shimmy and stalk into the shadows
after the candle wax burns down.

After you nestle your head
there,I shy away,
flipping my breast back
into its nightgown,
and you into your bed.

She will say again, my mound’s dark sister,
that stars hurl down vengeful,
ever jealous of the babe’s shameless cry

(and what it solicits)

I protest. Lock atlas,
vertebrae singed as I crawl into ball, saying
own am I.

The night was mine
to wield into day…
(I kissed it harshly, open-mouthed, my tongue wet slabbing a loaded gun)

But you twitch your little finger, curve up
your little toe,
and the phantom song drifts
before you can shape it, girl.

I stretch my neck over a weak
pillow so my head and hair dangle off the blue
like a shepherd calf— it’s all the better to hear you
with, my dear, if I disarticulate, recalculate
the better twin as a form of being.