Last Motherhood

I hoped for a birthing and it came—
that overripe house we lived in, it
secreted me. House curve-backed,
coastal house nestled
in shoulderblade shores.

Those were the thin walls.
Against them you held me,
an unfulfilled lake.
I was a lake-hidden turtle,
sealed and moving,
frantic there. Such soothing
ocean-gifts you twisted
into my seeking hands.

You carried each little failure,
tucked its curled body
into a sleep-stacked bed,
reminded me of time, of jugular
motivation clothing my regrets.

Our unheard years—no cries—
times freckled with lost gifts.
We were birthing
remnants, not breathing.

Our bed undone,
these body-walls,
days that had died you
crystallized in bottles.
Such heavy need.

I've split them apart,
those sap-tendrils from our long
passageways of arms and legs, I’ve
poured them shining
onto the dust-choked streets.

You are the last
wound, you small
beached body,
so brave and so

Tara Menon
and Lena Williams

Tara  ( wrote this poem using only words from five of Lena's ( poems.

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