Sunday, January 30, 2011


Hurry up and sleep, we need
the pillows
A liminal start three nights
in a row, remembering
my Ruby slippers, clicking.
The way home is easy,
but somewhere back and back
I forgot the cradle
of my diaphragm,
its rocking

Now, my pedal to metal,
I can barely pause to tell you this...
last night I remembered
that crucial thing I’d forgotten:
my third arm,
or that I’ve always spoken Cantonese,
or that my flute master
is still waiting for me, twenty-three years later,
in her mahogany parlor
It slapped me awake, bright and insistent,
then hopped back onto the ferry, disappearing
with all of its rigging, into the mist

Across the night sky,
my mother rises
at 3 am, stumbles around the house,
every moment, now, a ferry she has just missed
trying to remember what she has forgotten,
crib sheets tucked into her sleeve
with the names of the children
who cracked open her rocking pelvis
seven times,
this boat too, taken back
downriver, this life, an overripe berry,
dissolving, on the tip of her tongue

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