I have never been good

at letting go.


I hold my ghosts close like

children I forgot to bear.

They wallow in my small womb

wondering when this winter will thaw.


Perhaps the only way I know

how to be a lover

is to become a child.


There is only so much

mending I can do.

The rest comes from believing

I, too, can heal.

From watching the sky grow lighter

as winter lifts and clouds

streak my face,

daring yet quiet.


The heartbreak is that winter always comes.

I will always long for another

body which has been baked

long enough in sun,

which doesn’t need to hurt so much

in order to finally

rise from the floor like

mist from a lake.


The body is not forever,

yet I find it so hard to feel my blood

welling up in every chamber, including

my throat which stays

unmoving though I place my thin

body in the wind.


if I am made of bone

it is only to say

to my great grandchildren

I, too, was here

I, too, have suffered.


Yet I find no comfort in a family

which has poured all its pain

into my own bone-white spine and left me

stumbling like a child over the ground.


I need a mother,

perhaps more than my own,

to stroke my hair when I nightly


to tell me there are other

ways to be strong

than holding my breath

like eggshells, broken

in my lungs.