Quite Contrary


I am born of blunder: of my mother’s body
’s need, of my father’s easy charm. Of tongue
to fuck-you & middle fingers like shadow rabbits
on the wall of bad mothers. Jesus, mom,

don’t deny it. You would never, I would
never. & somehow still, every damnday
I am startled at the impossible joy of space
braiding quarks into my hands: comet to keratin

& bone, electricity sliding over the calendar
on the dresser & me, me. Particles of light.
A bit of DNA says to another do you love me?
& I am & someday I won’t be. My daughter

chatters & dances behind me thank you,
thank you, my heart sings. I find myself
keeling in the candle-lit temple, in the cedar
box of what-the-fuck-have-I-done. You wouldn’t

know it from me, but the women in my family
are patches of good dirt, soil easily gone
to seed & easily left. Fields like bodies:
milk-need blooms wrapped in chokeweed,

ashborne roots & children, children. One
doesn’t garden here. My daughter
has her school shoes on & there she is
again, Sweet Child of the Impossible.

Sherre, Sherre, look at your garden grow.
& yet, I am just a body, a buzzing chorus
of atoms. We are all praying to the incandescent,
the improbable particles: the ever-possible never

was, the guarantee of our own undoing
if we just wait for it. We are all waiting.
I am just waiting to split into the firefly
-miracles of absolute silence & wonder.

Sherre Vernon