For K.E.

I leave the house
where the two-month-old writhes from his polio shot,
yells as if he knows the meaning of the word
and I know that I am working
for all of our rights
but sit at my desk and think
of his tiny fingernails
that I finally cut for the first time,
think how he already smiles
when I say mama loves you.

This giving birth, this singing of lullabies
cannot be less, cannot be other than art:
it stretches the skin
changes the voice
opens the heart
keeps you up at night
fills you with liquid skill to nourish.

Just like when I write a poem—
as Forugh said it once—
I feel something has left my body.


Photo By: LMAP