My Mother’s Name
Maternity is not a myth,
despite experience, despite
Leto, adrift on an island,
transforming its inhabitants
into frogs. My mother's name
is foreign to my lips -
I have rarely felt its sound
form from synapse to tongue.
It is strange that what should be
familiar is unused, and I remember
the first evening that she told me
she did not love me; without
why or when, to suddenly become
the cuckoo in your own nest.
It was like drowning, and since,
I cannot help but imagine people
stood on bridges, bent over rivers,
at a crossroads of passages
in the contemplation of the unnatural,
where everything might change -
from breathing to not,
to wear the water like satin.