I will be looking at you as you were when you were six
small hands, cute little rounded body
long wavy blond hair before it would grow frizzy and african
in the teenage years
(if you had been a teen).
I will be wishing to grab you
and make you mine
just a little longer
hold you in the sphere of my arms
whichever forever comes first,
but forever might be lazy.

I will be doing all of that
when I transmute this day into
something else.
But I will not be doing that now
today or never ever–
because The Man, The Father
has come into the room
in his irritating silent way of power
to ask if I am ready.

I am never ready so I wait.
I am silent
so is he
there is no talk
as I stand in the middle of your room.
Your bed signals me–a wave, a nod
I crawl into your sheets
to hide there.
Bury my face in your smell
roll in your body
that was just there the other day.

This day will never happen.

I will tell The Man, the Father, the Husband
He won’t understand
that this day will not happen.

just as soon as I find my voice
I am telling him.
I would have told him before.
But only silence ticks out of my throat
like those birds that suddenly
decamp to the sky at dusk
devoid of sound
you look
they are gone.
I am the silent dusk birds
and you
The Father
are not here.

But The Father touches my arm
and says in such a voice that makes
a ripping sound. I come open like
a cracked egg.
“It’s time.”

I will be biking along that path in campus
that we love by the well and then
to the Student Union where you will
take fistfuls of water in your mouth
from the fountain. You are five.
I will lounge on the great tufted couch
in the Ladies Room while you lounge
on the floor with one of the books
we just bought at the bookstore.

I will do all those things.

But first, I will tell The Man, The Father
what I know.

“She is not dead.”
“I know,” he will say, in another world, another time.
I will abide and wait
because you will come back to me.
My baby, baby.
Only one baby.
Oh dear–

You will not be nine again, will you?
You will not be mine again, will you?



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