One day at the library, I open a volume on
The seventeenth century.
There’s a glossy-paged portrait,
A woman bereft, an infant limp to her chest.
I wish I could take her the medicine
That would save her child’s life,
That would let her live for the next one’ birth.
Then perhaps she would let me sit at her hearth,
Both of us unaware of anatomy
And the ways our bodies stray,
Me unpossessed of the box in my chest,
Someone who can run into the cold sea
Without a shock.