pregnant pauses

in the ultrasonic light
you reveal yourself to me
in film grain outlines
restless shadows
like water—
and i am dreading the news
before i know the possibilities
i am reading the ultrasound
as if tea leaves in the bottom of an empty cup
all guesswork and no tangible evidence
floating nightmares
two cupped hands, asking
to be filled
so when the radiologist calls
and says the ultrasound is clear,
i should feel relief at what is not there
but i am learning that you can mourn
life’s empty spaces, even if they’ve never been filled
so my two hands close
crushing tea leaves inside the folds of my fingers
outlining and highlighting
the shape of a vacancy
like the empty teacup, black leaves still floating
i look closer and realize
they’re not leaves at all,
but ashes
the omen so obvious now in hindsight
the teacup—now an urn
i keep on the ancestral altar
that i walk past each time i return home
how my body
cannot remember who died there
but still feels
emptied by that loss.

All the Unyielding Things

I just want to be a mitigator.
I just want to be a little something
to take the edge off.

how to bleed a ghost

the problem with bodies is that they’re just too fragile. even something as bold as a ribcage can be crushed into tiny stars, bones magnified into gritty ash.