Child is chill. Ghosts like she can kill. Stops rivers without a dam. Horses. Will I watch her cross-country show? Horses. Dressage? Some birthmothers are goals like the Grand Canyon, Rushmore, or Yellowstone. Adoptees want to see it before they die. Why are her hands so small? Why does she have vitiglio? Why is she short, so not-my-face? Her teeth, tiny, like she hasn’t shed her baby chompers.
I love how she ghosted me; “The word ‘mute’ refers to…an opacity of human being, which likes to show the truth by allowing it to be seen hiding” (Carson Nox).
My pregnancy wardrobe consisted of a black velveteen dress and bib overalls. “Monogram” is Greek for “single line.” Her personalized everything down to toothbrush might mean dreams of a simpler tree. Mother and Father to Daughter. Maybe she’ll grow into me. Horses. All my mother wanted. She filled pads with drawings of angry-faced stallions. Named herself “Roy Rogers.” Why horses?
Do genes glue us to the equine? At birth, a call for speed and flight? I rode, but skipped the horse-line. A relative insists people speak either love or death.
She believes in an invisible enemy. TV taught me psychopaths make connections that don’t exist. These connections are called “delusions.” I thought my underwater body was invisible. Family resemblance is uncanny; We belong to our madness, which belongs to our blood. John Muir writes “the sun shines not on us, but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing.” Come on. Stop skipping around the barn. Let’s play Cranium. I’m over how we sit in the dark and think of Texas, fractals, and zygotes. Nip the arson. Drawer your idiot winds. The Latin root of “sinister” is “left-handed.” Read these poems aloud. Thoreau claims a written word “may not only be read but actually breathed from human lips.” Read yourselves alive.
About the author:
Quinn White is the author of My Moustache (Dancing Girl Press, 2013) and Orienteering (Origami Poems Project, 2013). Her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from journals such as The Healing Muse, Sixth Finch, and Amethyst Arsenic. Quinn earned her MFA from Virginia Tech. She lives in Alabama with her husband and their three cats.