Bruce Bond

(1954 / United States)

Planetarium


As the mobile of planets wheeled over my crib,
their shadows darkened the yellow walls:

a ripening pear. My mother frowned
tenderly like a mirror, touched
her fingers to her nipple, placing there
the word milk, then took her hand away.

The syllable drifted to the floor of my body,
a shiny lure swiveling through the dark—
my first imagination of need. A toy piano
played lullabies on its metal teeth.

When my mother leaned down to kiss me,
she pressed her face on the pad of my silence;
then she withdrew, jostling the planets.
That night my parents slept lightly. The sky

lay wind-stripped and polished to its tar.
When I spoke, they imagined themselves
emerging in my first words. Like children
they lit up at the names they were given.

Submitted: Saturday, July 05, 2014

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