My Mother Says I Never Learned Language
Because she didn’t want to speak to herself.
Which makes it sound like I have no language.
I know about noise, endlessly
human. The first thing I said today was welcome.
I woke up before anyone
else in my house and in one version
I say welcome to my own little animal
scampering to its breakfast and in another I speak to open
the doors of the office. Both have happened.
Some days, the first thing I say is a decree:
french toast or tea or I think we should go
to Tasti-Os, even if the donuts are fried at midnight
and wait in the window until dawn. I know for sure
I would have lost whatever my mother might have said
over her infant. I am also quiet and distrustful.
I have not learned to convey
anything more than meaning, and I think
when she says I have learned no language
she means, she thought I would be lonely.
On the way back from work I call my mother
to describe a new bag of rocks by the railroad
crossing. Someone else's
mysterious labor. I am envious of it,
a new bag every week. Cumulative. I want
that certainty and perhaps, to know what's coming
to this specific space between
the fire station and the courthouse
which demands such weight.