Renee Emerson

You lost the child like a dream
you don’t remember. The summer
moon, a charted vagrant in orbit,
hovered too close. The heat on your skin

you don’t remember. Only that summer
-white mechanical bed, a nurse
hovering too close. The heat like skin,
like acceptance, the pain that sanctifies

the white mechanical bed, the nurse
washing your hair, singing the hymn
of acceptance, of pain. What can sanctify
the body, lungs clasped tight as fists?

They washed your hair, sang the hymns.
Her name meant free, and meant little bird,
they draw her body with wings. Clasped fists,
the figures floated near in the hygienic room.

Her name meant free, meant little bird
white as a moon, days charted like an orbit.
Her figure floating in the womb,
you lost the child like a dream.

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