when you sleep (to Sam)

mama c and the boys all rights reserved 2011

when you sleep

when you sleep
you are still able

to fit into the crook of my arms
and I have never yelled at you once.

you are in your mother’s belly floating
fully in the safety of a shared

unfettered universe

a feather on the heron’s head
stealth and still on the water’s edge of your pre(me)memory

where I am not your mother-
and you could be anyone’s

son. I am the roof keeping you dry
and the unrecognizable shred of a blanket between your fingers

I am not the ship sailing with you shackled in my berth
or your mother who grieved your mother’s loss at your brother’s birth

when you sleep you are not a transracial anything
or a deep brown everything

but a galactic breath deep and deepening

landing on the pillow next to your
little brother’s breath

who already knows you better than I do
only imagining that I am your mother awake


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