Awake beneath an onyx sky you crack the blinds, inhale
night’s fading ink. The air is your mother’s breath on your skin,
the only steeple is the church of palms in the neighbor’s yard
dropping vermilion fruit on the grass. On another coast,
everyone you know is sleeping except for a boy you love.
In his body ticks a clock that matches yours. Darkness seeps
from the blades of palmetto the way water leaves your fingers
after a bath. To see the darkness, one must look darkly. Hours later,
this boy will feed his cat, perform his daily ministrations
like a mother. What is parenting but a prayer for one’s young.
Outside, the white ibis of dawn unfurls the potted mint,
its ribbons of scent. Son, your shadow lives in my eyes.
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