From my mother
I learned how wine swims in the vein,
what happens when the vaquita dies,
how to boil meat from bone
to make chicken soup.
Like her, often I am stirred from sleep
by thought, not dream.
A frenzied rap at the thin door a beckon
to follow her into the summer garden,
we listen to the birds—
nighthawk in the oak,
mockingbird in the underbrush.
We busy ourselves wondering what dark place
becomes the bed of the crow.
In these moments,
we are suddenly aware that our hearts are beating—
there is something larger than ourselves.
And knowing the fragility of it all,
we speak the language of mortality.