Eating the Afterbirth

First, the mother takes a long time eating
the afterbirth, then I hear it’s the other way
around. But balance always discovers a way
to balance out, so we don’t look back, we don’t

need to. We sift into freezing bursts with no
destination except a sunlit highway heading north.
Say goodbye to the children we leave behind,
the ones we’ll never meet, aching and phantom.

States above Florida are much warmer; peeking
tulips permeate the tree lines—escapism
by bumper-cars and coffee houses shaped from
shacks. Chipped Robin Blue and mismatch

vinyl chairs, how do you keep your shine? Tilt-a-
whirl mountainsides, geometric faces. You’ve never
seen a tunnel carved into the earth, eyes dripping
away sludge, until the peak—At the top: sweater

weather, cigarette smoke drifts, angles soft
enough to bring quartz from the sky. At the bottom
of this ridge we’re only in bathing suits, sun
hiding above green palms, skin sliding against

cool-hearted waterfalls–slide… Return to loam,
rich with our fingers. Here, I’ll lay down the salt
circle to keep us out of drought, while you lay
down your palms to keep us from leaving.

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