Poem by Jennifer Militello
Through the skull, one can see the dream as if the eyelids were undone by the body’s crawl or by the garden there within. The ghost still in love with the flesh. The incorrect guess. The stairwell’s echo. The thunder’s fuss. Through the ulnar, one can see the torn versions of the birth, the shaking there in the first moments, the clogged breath, the day mining its way through the window, clawing like a crow to get to the new child, the one child warmed by the skin, the single child who is also many and slips through the world like a scalpel, leaving a mark, its small lungs inhaling the particles, its small hands repeating the same motions and then the cry coming right from the lungs while the bed sheets stitch a whiteness the child will never remember, the child will never forget. Small hunch at the body of another. The lantern of the skull untaming light until it flies in the face of the host, a world outside that aches for that entry and a separate place. Through the face, one can see the woman where one was made and the hospital bed retching with this woman’s pain. Through the skull, the day one has dreamed simply by being, and the giving one forgets to take. The salt of life sifting. An hourglass shake.
Jennifer Militello is the author, most recently, of A Camouflage of Specimens and Garments (Tupelo Press, 2016) and Body Thesaurus (Tupelo Press, 2013). She teaches in the MFA program at New England College.