It is my poem against the starving heart. / It is my victory over meanness.
— Gerald Stern
After Gd heaved the stars into the sky
came my mother.
Only then could she have made the amalgam
of her smell: Boucheron. Dahlia root. Wine.
What I can translate here to: amber.
After the lakeshore of Huron came the rivulet
between her ribs, her breasts a prelude
to that closed wing span —
I almost opened it to come here
from the water of her. I took all
Surely, after the low hanging willow
she set her cheekbone, clavicle
and breathed life
into that aster eye.
Here, I’ve made my mother holy
and her beauty speaks for her.
No one tells you forgiveness can start this way,
her perfect hands in story
her voice, honey.