My six-year-old daughter stares into the purpling
copper sky and names it dusk, a just-learned word
she is happy to declare, comparing it to evening
and afternoon. We talk of how the earth turns away
from the sun each night,
a motion so encompassing,
our bodies cannot know it.
I don¹t tell her how the child
part of me still disbelieves it--that this globe
actually spins while we breathe, while my daughter
changes invisibly before my eyes,
her infant body submerged inside her
with her toddler waddle and her four-year-old skip,
each swallowed within the other
like the nesting dolls she keeps
on her new desk, each self
perfectly preserved, forsaken
for the one that must come after.
From Yaya's Cloth (Iris Press, 2007).
First published in North American Review.
Used with the author’s permission.