first: the day you were born and i dropped you in the water.
word: the day all of my hair fell onto the floor like a mass of paper clips clicking.
cold: the day the man in blue shorts swam across our living room. how did he get through the door, how did your laughter pour him like water.
and again: the day the plant died for revenge and thirst. we took to the salt mines. we dug and we dug and we came up with one red wagon, one piece of coal. one blueberry to put in the freezer and one chicken fillet to coddle and fit to a bonnet.
foretold: the day you came home and said, “i am not made for swimming through the neighborhood we need a raft.” we took our car and drove out onto the lake, a dark sparkle on the water. we bought you a new dress made of evening and topped with lampshade. we shielded our eyes from the glare.
fracture: the day you said “i need a chicken to cluck, a rope to jump. i need a wig to brush to cover my lighted head. you are too much for me, we can’t talk anymore.”
and lull: doing laundry doing laundry doing laundry. growing out my hair.
the dig: we will not always have the daylight. she has broken me into pieces and now i am leaning out the window to find them, and I am losing the lamp. I am belittling the yard which only grows in the dark.
the twins: you took out the trash for your birthday. a thousand pieces of glass danced a shining portrait. you are cinderella and i am the locked door.
age: “mama hit me with a prefix deliver me away.”
date unknown: the day i lost my vocabulary. a napoleon has taken over the country and there are bursts of light everywhere. i don’t know where my rainwater is. i have taken to the road. on both sides are rushing green, specks of light, the wheat fields and the traveling wells.
word: the day my hair came back in a sprout of glory and the water streamed at both ends.
pursuit: you now radiate like an onion peel lit from beneath. you were always grown into the dirt, a daphne running for the river, you have been sealed at the root.
death: “he showed up glistening. you are an ivory tower, give me your hair. i lowered a hot wire and a cat clawing. an electric bundle and a blue spark. this is how I cry out.”
date unknown: i opened all the letters. not one light bulb folded into any of them.