The Day That I Died
for Martha Sharpe

Not long after the cake and pointed hats; small, tender pats,

The bowl of cool salad, 

Designed to make me forget where I am from—

This massive space filled with the fragrance of women

and warm, wet tree canopies—

I was patrolling the dirty concrete enclosure,

Heartsick always heartsick, 

And this dumb kid jumped in with me.

I heard someone screech, Your mommy loves you!

Where are you? I thought, and touched the boy’s sweet face,


I will bring you to the back where I dream of the water pouring into

my open mouth, I will 

Fall over, something burning inside me,

And die, gathering my unborn babies around me, and my eyes closing

at the usual faces, watching, never seeing,

Not a single stroke to pass me forward even though it has torn me up so badly 

and this was my life.

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