You were a dream I had once, long ago
When I was young and hopeful and free
of the pain of my past, a new beginning unfolding
And you, the binding of that past to present, to the future
A tiny ball nestled on my chest, breathing baby breaths
I conjured you until you were real,
Pinocchio after all the wishing was done, after
the whale and the sacrifice and a fairy’s magicked compassion
Blond hair and blue eyes, where did you come from
in my swarthy sea of Italians? You always said you were
Viking, a long-ago raider marauding along the coast,
leaving behind the blood that would tumble through time,
through DNA strands and couplings and transatlantic voyages
to show up in my arms, held to my breast, a bundle of baby boy breathing sweet breaths.
You are a dream again. Now.
Images. Conjurings. Memories true and sometimes blurring
around kinder edges that spare me
sustain me, always skewer me straight through. Sometimes
the pain is exquisite, and sometimes
it’s just pain that I gather in around me because it proves you were real
not some fading wish once made upon stars already gone to dust
as if you were never quiet here to begin with.