Friday, September 19, 2008


Male of Elizabeth

for my sons, and my grandson, not-yet-born

I wake in the morning
his voice in my body
a language I can’t follow
a crescendo, a leaky instrument

he was a boy with a voice
that betrayed him
a sharp blade
for an Adam’s apple and words
that hit the window like sleet

he left me remembering
the quiet thrum of rain
the day he was born
the blade that saved him
after a dive to grab his waving arms

I still tread
in that water and blood
of the child who was named
male of Elizabeth
the patchwork of our bodies
living, breathing
speaking broken languages

photo by Sally Mann

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