We weave our fingers together before we fall to sleep
and I notice yours, nearly slender, your infancy thinning.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////I did not notice the shape of those hands
————————————/////////–that gave you to me, that still hold so much of your story.
Your life line, your love line, both too small for me to get
a good read in fading November light.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////It is the back of my own that concerns me—now
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////more my mother’s, her mother’s.
You tap my palm in drowsy patty cake—mark it
with a G!
/////////////////////////////////////////////You will have no memory of what yours will become.
I might be smothered by
////////////////////////////////the love she causes.
Mornings I struggle out from under, our heavy sleep
breaths pull it down, down, and down overnight.
////////////////////////////////////Only I take the weight.
She rolls and turns unencumbered. She kicks off all cover.
My heart is in shreds. I tear it apart
////////////////////////////////daily to see how it will heal.
I’ve lost her twice, nightmares within nightmares, woke
panicked to her scent, her small head soaked under my chin.
////////////////////////////////Now dreams accommodate.
My fear is no less.
I cannot reconcile what it is
/////////////////////////////////to live without her.
When I think about them, guilt outweighs gratefulness.
I want her to love me most of all. I need her to need me
/////////////////////////////because she is not from me, of me.
Without that original tether, the memory of it, to me she is not tied.
Photographs remember her smaller,
I do not remember how I kept from going crazy
in August, and only the heat of early July in Phoenix.
//////////////////////////////She will not love me most of all.