Eating the Afterbirth

-For Stevy, DDL, and Elizabeth Bishop

One day, in a freezing burst, a sunlit highway,

it was time to head north. First, the mother took
a long time eating the afterbirth, then I heard it was

the other way around. I would not be consuming any
part of myself any time soon, so we said goodbye

children we left behind, ones we would never meet,

balances always discover a way to balance out,
phantom pains. We didn’t look back, we didn’t need

to, states above Florida  were much warmer, peeking
tulips permeated the tree line. Soon we fell into a Blue

Beard lull, months go by, then, “Did you notice where

these strawberries came from?” Dehydrated gems, delicacy
in this Midwestern Down to Earth place, I finally found you.

But you aren’t from around here like we are, why, why does
the carton say Made with love, St. Augustine, Florida.

Atrophic ghosts plague these once-innocent dried strawberries.

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