Letter to My Foundling: #235, Boy

The two halves of this city pull at the stitches.
River unwound, a wooden spool turning to loosen
its coarse gray thread.
It was me who
When you were born I
I was the mother joining scraps for a sleeve.
Your mottled chest rose and fell as I unpinned
my hands from your gown. The breathing—still
wet, still sudden—I could see it aspire:
oil skin stretched across new whale bone.
You were my sea-tossed lamp.
I was the boat, the
kerosene, spilt into a dark current
where cloth would only pull you below
as someone you once knew, a body
around your body, made for
the shifting sea.

Allison Adair's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best New Poets 2015, Boston Review, The Missouri Review, Mid-American Review, Tahoma Literary Review, The Boston Globe, and The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts; and her interactive literary projects have been featured on The Rumpus and Electric Literature. The winner of the Fall 2015 Orlando Prize and the 2014 Fineline Competition, she teaches at Boston College and Grub Street.