Death to Pronouns
August heat. My child tried to die.
She took a bottleful of pills to sleep forever, but I found him.
It’s so hot in here. Hospital blankets fleece or cotton?
Blue or pink stocking hat?
When we found her. When I found him.
Little girl, we had hoped to dress you for prom and braid your hair,
we tried to make you cut papery hearts and glue glitter surprises.
Maybe someday she’ll even ring her finger like little chime bells
and blush powder will dust the sinktop.
Instead, you relished lining up plastic animals in epic battles on the rug
and they fought
wrenching wars. Slashing violence of claw and tooth.
My Hes and Shes — so jumbled together, but they are as distinctly separate
as His and Hers public restrooms. Or shoes. Heels or wingtips?
Warmer. Warmer. This was no hide-and-seek.
But it’s life or death.
I found him. And her pulse had cooled.
When I found her she wouldn’t wake up and I drove to the ER, feeling long ago birthpains.
Close sweaty, hot smelly summer night. She did not die.
But he was born.
I watch his posture — now, he’s walking manlike. His voice deep. His chin angles strong and hard.
Laugh mighty big and lumber. Come, let me look closer.
There is no great change here. Only an establishment of truth. Like storm-front cold wind flushing
the medicines and blowing freedom.
I love your form and soul and self, my boy.
I found you. Now we live.