Tibetan, Mother of Compassion
With a pillow and a yen.
You were meant to be the god.
Brown eye crowning in its
through the unlined winter of your hand.
But to view her, not become her.
To have her be your personal god—
for each of your wounds, impersonal mother
you could love and love
and not have to give a thing back—
White Tara. Heart uncurling from the snow of her chest,
in the Himalayan air—
You bought it in a store.
After the mother had dropped completely
in a pool of spit, heart’s
She made you put the gift boots
back in the box, she said How
could you do this to me? when you had to tell her you’d got
Smotherer, eating up all the breath—
She kneels, bearing a heart attack.
And the poets say,
You will not say Mother, you will not say Father—
We have overthrown
the chromosome, we have
emerged full-throated from a void.
Build it from rot.
From the mouldered soil
of the neglected shit-strewn yard—
for the neighbor’s cats, they love the smell: alive alive—
Out of elm sticks
from the weedy trees, crush and glitter
of yellowed leaves, you must
jamb and sill, a frame
through which she can come
and be the god on the bedroom wall, White
Seven eyes on the suffering world, Rescuing
in the clothes she was wearing, when she
smacked face first to the floor—
Rescuing Mother, the poets say.
And the poets say,
You may not admit to bone or flesh, you must not have nerves
in the tips of your fingers,
you may say fist, you may say teeth, but you must not
put them in a sentence
together, you must not put them
in a body
That is the infection
whose vector you seek,
Sick Hunter. In the cemetery
you pore through the loam.
To find the cold well, its lip lit
by an oil
from her bones: Wrong-Bodied Never
Accomplished Enough a dose
in the inner ear, how could she
be the murderer
when the murderer is in the mirror—
In a skin of milk,
a moon-warmth, white and cool.
Soft and sentient,
you furl out a parentless hand.
To cup the head of the one
who’s been calling you—:
I hated her and then she died—
she died and then I
couldn’t tell her it was all a lie—
Blood beading the perimeter
of an almond-shaped wound
as the eye of compassion slits through.