Home Is Where You Are (2016)
I turn to see the back of you swaddled tightly
inside sheets. The t-shirt blanket your grandmother made
you is choked in exhausted, worn hands. When you roll
to face the window blinds you pretended to care
about, I notice that your body curves exactly like the guitar
I longed to cradle late every night. The one you’d hate to hear after
you’ve forgotten the sharp sound of learning,
and I’ve cleaned your scrapes from the dough and coarse paperwork.
You sleep, keeping time with slow breathes
and conducting dream-perfect melodies.
While you doze off my heart shakes. I am anxious
dancer’s legs in our too-big-for-this-room-bed.
I would search beneath the patchwork quilt we couldn’t afford
to shake your shoulder. Have you laugh
away botched tests and my barely editable tofu
with caricatures of my devout disapproving grandmother.
But, I’d rather face looming bills and “Will we last?”
than pull you from so flawless a performance, so rare
a relief. I will feign calm respite and face it
all alone. You rest while adult uncertainties
crush my nervous young bones, and our version
of parenting swishes its tail lazily as it pulls
itself up onto your rising chest.