Fruits of my labor

When the emperor chained me to the gates
he said you could’ve been my son. I used
to laugh so my friends would call me
a queen. I thought about this awhile, felt
regal and pale like a child’s nail after you
remove its splinter—or the captain
of a light gunboat patrolling the coast,
calling you from the deck to say
Lucinda Williams sings like she isn’t
trying to sing, doesn’t she?

Ars Poetica, age 4 four-year-old hand caressed that plastic world & beheld its cerulean tilt & spin

poem without awakening

when the sea swallows us / whole—which will be / soon—i will learn to / swallow the whole sea.