You are made in a darkness
that warms and rustles,
and settles, folded under the dusk-sound
of cicadas singing as softly
as a woman undressing in the pale gold
of a lamp before bed.
But you don’t know that song,
not yet. The curve is at your back
and you curl against it. Soon you will fill it,
become the same shape as the room
and use all of the air in it.
It is too early to know what you are.
If the oval was held to a bright enough
light there would be a red, deep drop,
and there would beat a tiny black speck of heart
fluttering without any bones to contain it.
Maybe you think you can feel wings beginning,
toothpick marrow fusing
that kind of architecture.
Even such unmade eyes should know
the shades of red broken by shadows
and the weight of the moon coaxing
as when you were most unsolid.
This heaviness may only open to more,
a buried nest, something else to dig out of.
Whatever it is, it is yours now.
So much fastens to you
like an egg-tooth, the first answer you will ever have,
by which the darkness waits
to splinter out.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 4.
See all items about Chera Hammons