Chris SouzaJuly will have us roasted by noon. I’ll work
the dewy light: water verbena, fill the baths
and offer seed, open-palmed, to chickadees
who sort for peanut hearts with abandon,
all gratitude being mine and misspent.
They weigh nothing with a firm grip and eye me
like round inscrutable mirrors or God at the Arnolfini
wedding, enough foreknowledge to choke anything.
I tell my students circles are signs of security,
the feminine, a general application of interpretation,
but don’t be surprised when the artist reverses
your expectations, when it’s what you trusted
that devoured you like a body gone rag with heat.
And the daughter you were has faded, and the daughter
you have acquires the usefulness of unlearning you,
and you still baffle over your mother,
who is your grandmother’s ghost here to remind
you, all palms end in supplication.
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