Parenthood was the night terror
that spoiled those times I didn’t come home.
A prospective grimy window, left unshattered,
between myself and many others. More than
once I held that vigil – forty days and awful nights
willing a drop of blood to flow, as if
I’d thrust myself into a dull lunar ritual
pre-dating even the oldest stains
on this bed we watch unseen hands and
malformed feet, we dream up names
nicked from old books. An exhalation, a fragile limb
writhes daily, there, beneath your skin.