You tried to retie the umbilical cord
and push me back into your womb
where things were dark and sticky,
so I would grow and suckle
because I would not breathe alone.
They made me swallow silver pills,
like pearls that dissolved on my
tongue, my mouth a clammy shell.
You hung me in the wardrobe
and watched the wire-frame collarbone rust,
dipping your fingers in sugar and milk,
dabbing my forehead with your warmth.
My eyes were closed and you fed me
on syrup and talcum powder,
prying me open with your nails,
wrapping me in a skin
that was not my own,
but your body in mine.
Even now in this hospital bed, it is you
that cries, not me, easing your muscles
down beside me, pressing
sand onto your eyelids with your knuckles.
Neither of us speak.
What inspired me: Mother. Please let me go. The ocean is waiting.