I wrote this sonnet when I was in college, meditating on the theme of love presumed to be inherent in the sonnet form. I thought, love takes many forms, and so, this…
Lullaby for a Crying Child
When my cousin died (olive skin and thick
black hair and twelve years old laid under dirt
and roses) I realized that death is
not a one-way gate, but is a long silk skirt
in the rain: shadows of skin inside the silk
(bare legs running to get inside, get warm)
stick to my skirt until I peel the silk
from my skin, and hang it in the bathroom.
My cousin (body of a child with eyes
and mind that have just turned twenty-three)
visits me in my sleep, touches my fingers, and I
look at him, then through him, and he leaves me
but not alone. And I wake to rain and
my skirt dripping from the shower curtain rod.
This poem originally appeared in my first published volume of poems, Gypsies.