Self-Portrait as Eldest Son

O mother of railroad spike and salt, dandelion and charm. O mother of candle wax, patient as a museum, see what I’ve brought back with the lips of your first lover: the unrequited axe handle. O mother, here is your constellation of poppies, red heads to hang above his bed. Here is his pant-leg of rust, his shoelace of guitar string. Here is your guillotine, O mother, built from sperm and birth-slap, aluminum and ipecac. Here is his arm of hemp, his lung of carnival tent. O mother, your wilderness at his ankle, your knuckle in his, your mouth...

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