At first I feared I’d never wake
for you, that my blood’s dim stars
could not find your cries
like tinny mirrors of themselves rattling
below in the lake of sleep and pain
that was not mine. I couldn’t know
how, floating in your crib, you’d shudder
and I would stagger in and smell
tart fever, your body’s tender tilt
away. And I’d hunger, grieve, and crave
that smell, and need my palms
and mouth on you pulsing,
softening until that scent flew out
to sharpen all the blades of morning. Son,
we share the marrow. Small
bell, you ring in the middle
of my sleep’s dark lake.
You set the water on fire.
This selection comes from Sally Rosen Kindred’s book Book of Asters, available from Mayapple Press. Purchase your copy here!
Sally Rosen Kindred is the author of No Eden (2011) and Book of Asters (2014), poetry books from Mayapple Press, and the chapbook Darling Hands, Darling Tongue (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013). She has received two poetry awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, and her poems have appeared in Blackbird, Best New Poets 2009, Quarterly West, and on Verse Daily. For more information, please go to http://www.sallyrosenkindred.com/.
Donna Vorreyer is the author of A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013) as well as six chapbooks, most recently Encantado, a collaboration with artist Matt Kish from Redbird Chapbooks forthcoming in April. She is an assistant poetry editor for Extract(s), and her second collection is forthcoming from Sundress Publications in 2016.