My grandmother clasped cousin Stella’s hand, divining the heart
of things: the only house she’d buy would burn in the spring,
daughters’ dresses floating through windows. (It’s not something
to say in polite company.) Peculiar sight twining in our bloodline (yet our bodies
trouble to make moon-eyed children), I’ve buried my mother’s hallelujahs
& salt-throwing grandmother’s prophecies (she said I was in love,
she was wrong) in the sea’s dark oil. Still, I touched José’s arm,
& saw his mother slap him for pissing on the floor & he hated me for it.
The third eye’s gate swings open, letting visions in and out as horses.
I asked my grandmother, who baked doughy babka & lifted her hands’
glowing bones to make the sign of the cross, who do you watch?
Now, she’s gone & I’m lonely, knowing all bright things pass away. On
the other side, women laboring in the saint-fields grow younger, she
told me, touching chin whiskers. Here, I carry others’ lives, incessant
bird-noise suffering. I split myself over & over, then sew
these little deaths inside my pelvis. I cry to be carried. Because we all
long for something to quiet us down. Tell me, the living & dead say,
you’ll see me even when my ashes blow away. Out of my skull, evening primrose