Friday, September 19, 2014

Rigoberto Gonzalez

Rigoberto Gonzalez [Numéro Cinq]

from Rigoberto Gonzalez's Black Blossoms:


          Baby's Breath

Every birthday you eat a year off your mother's life — your mother plucked
in parts, petal by petal like the schizophrenic daisy, stares down as her heart

bubbles out vulnerable as yolk. The needle-thin rays of the sun
press against her every morning when she opens her mouth to yawn

and exposes the waking weevil of her tongue. What is it about mothers
that makes them so mortal? Is it that every mother bleeds? Is it that every

mother weeps into the jaundiced rags of her hands after the bodies she hums
into the world exclude her? Yes, you'll leave her, first memory of your gums.

She slumps among the furniture and marvels at the temporary power
of populating houses. Skin and wood, these are the archives of your hours.

The floor maps footsteps with cracks on the tile. Your mother records
the sounds of her sleepless nights. This is what keeps her alive

for now: the sleepwalk through the walls as she lactates through her robe,
your baby breath settling like the snowdrift in a dusty water globe.

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