There was a   hum of   fretwork   guess-
work   a piecework of selves   on the veranda   where I asked
my mother   how much did it cost   to carry   so many filaments
two instead of one   when smocked   and behooved
              we left the hospital   each with a   different
kind of insomnia–––––a different kind
                    of question   and a
different kind of   mother   torn under a glistening
                                                                            yolk of sun
that put everything   on the table   whether
              we wished it or not

        In the late summer    a kind of lull   sulked around
the house   not deliberately   but everybody unconsciously
slowed their blood   assumed the right position   even visitors
––––––children knew to play outdoors while adults
              continued to plait bread and vacuum

When mulberries finished flexing   their purplish seeds
a more ancient time arrived   and out of silence I   remember
   climbing through a wall of thorny scrub
        to find a tree in a clearing
swathed in bees   and at the heart   a black sun into which all
bees traveled      Here I put my sibling
and   my mother’s caul of tears   into a pollen pot that swayed
   in step with the wind   It was no altar
        but a cup of   gold-dusted slumber   that stung   and over-
swarmed   with a dissident task–––––irrational
                    bristling with relief–––––stoic as moon-
light unearthing the ash   of sleep.