Dialogue for New Mothers

— Melissa Ho

No, this is not the last thing
I say. I pull back your fingers the way
            you skin a bird: on american

soil, strip a body clean of its name. how to
dissect a dream, or to
            play god. even in other cities,

I forget routine: how to count groceries, birthday
money, good grades. like all women,
            I want to learn how to

be soft again. how to borrow a clean mouth or a bruise
shaped like a shipwreck.
            this is how I will tell you

to believe me. how to swear on something you’ve
never seen. I reach for your hand and pretend
            it is mine. how to swallow two bodies at once.

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