Theater of Inheritance
Fenced in the naming, a music:
A crescendo of water lifts
a shape. This inspires the first
conscious attempt at sex: The bodies bellow
marvelous, the faces slack
awry. The world stills.
A song in the reeds
We no longer hear miraculous
tales of birth: God’s finger pointing
yes, you carry my next son.
My father almost had
a son. After me: My arrival too
early, too small to survive a night
alone. A blueness snuck into us
and then I breathed. See how I hint
so early. See how a tale
repeats: The water makes marvelous
shapes, so we emulate it. And the song:
A boy put his ear
to my throat,
hand to my loins, and pressed
to hear what he could pluck
from me—I hated it.
I cannot, in good faith, listen further.
CARLY JOY MILLER is the author of Ceremonial (Orison Books, 2018), selected by Carl Phillips as the winner of the 2017 Orison Prize for Poetry, and the chapbook Like a Beast (Anhinga Press, 2017), winner of the 2016 Rick Campbell Prize.