Your father is the slow dance and I am the ballad.
Or he’s the nightclub and I am six tequila shots on the bar.
I am the salt and lemon, too.
I am the snake and the apple. I am the tongue that says
to your father—Take. Eat. Do this in remembrance of me.
Your father, the monologue in the music box
and I, the plastic ballerina in gold shoes.
Your father is the swaddle, the rock, the cradle.
His potbellied heart loses its socks and is learning to laugh.
You are Mars. Your father and I are its two moons orbiting.
You, stardust on the telescope’s lens
and the ice in the comet’s tail.
Your heart is a poppy—bright, forgetful.
You are the first mayapple of spring, unripe and rising.
And this is the hallelujah I asked the first star
to sing at the quickening.
This is the dirty Eden, stalked by envious angels.
This is the land of Isaac, and of knives.
We are the wish imperfectly granted and this is the well.
Copyright © Traci Brimhall
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.