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I love to wake early and sip strong coffee
and sit like a queen in the dark
and ask my death to reach back and teach me
so I can write down what I hear. If I listen
with my whole spine, the currents
of deep grief and wild arousal wash me
to a more original body. So I sneak
out of bed early this Christmas eve,
and float to the kitchen to percolate
in my husband’s parent’s home, past
the blind dog sleeping in her crate,
great-grandma’s bedroom
where little girl dreams dissolve
even as they form translucently around her
in the dark dry morning air.

I come back to our room
triumphant with my mug,
set up my cushion, and hear
Lundin, 8 months old, pile of sleep squirming –
snortling and milk-hungry, my husband’s hand on his heart
to soothe. Back-bending and flapping arms that thwack
pillow and little protruding belly, stretch that furrows
the brow and pooches the lips and makes a tiny
tremble through the absurdly adorable body,
and I’m called
to my first purpose, to feed
from my own body, to feel
these rivers of simple service that destroy
ideas of who I think I am pull
from my bones and pour
into his little suckling lips.
My desires are silent as I give up
writing this morning, and lay here instead,
my hand petting his hair, everything
for the moment effortless, awestruck
by death’s teaching today.

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