The evangelicals across the road
steer their lambs in frills and gold

When will I stop congratulating people for having children?

I am in the gallery shop
contemplating the sublimation
in a Francis Bacon tea towel
God explodes themselves in multiplicity
that hearkens to the trumpet of self-ending
What is left is clockwork, zombies
the rictus of puppets, laughing

I am my own unreliable narrator
refracted in spasms, paroxysms, Tourette’s
Aphasias turning wives into hats
that dress that changed from gold to black
the vagaries of hormones

Ferrying our hysterial, wandering wombs
We are erratic
Here is the uncanniness of witches
Viragos, harridans, harpies
bat-winged and snake-headed
No woman ever thought of herself as whole

At least, not enough
to die of shock
to hear a philosopher naysay it

Our consciousness bathed in monthly blood
Pain always
On a loop
Our knowledge is only that we will
be sucked by leeches
rent asunder
as life plunges from one darkness
to the next
Puppet makers, voodoo doll stitchers
We are the pacifiers and the midwives
of death

But even a pot-bound plant
with its white worms of stymied roots
more life! more light! more space!
And when the mewling new is laid upon her breast
every mother knows
she is Abraham
and is