My son pulls a leaf off of someone else’s bike
and says, I need it to grow roots.
So we sketch predictions into anthills
with narrow fingers and sticks:
a sacred impossible mound unearthed
like the place where I once planted
him into the base of my spirit:
I breathed, he breathed.
At the autumn beach, I watch his limbs
sketch coal colored sand deep into his pores,
begging he find a heartbeat
in soil, a voice in rocks
sent out to sea with a prayer
he does not yet know is a prayer.
This earth ancient and warped
its hands wrap
around my every swatch of skin,
my throat hot with someone else’s story
gripping someone else’s chords
inside someone else’s hands.
Grinning, so he doesn’t remember
how they had pressed against him
fingers on my belly like a crystal ball
Grinning, before he learns to read palms
because he will learn
to read palms.
Kelsey Lueptow is working toward a Master’s in English at Northern Michigan University. She has written for Everyday Feminism, Diary of a First Time Mom, and reviewed fiction for The Next Best Book Review.