Autobiography 8

In the sandbox my son pretends
to be dead. On the wooden edge I try

to look alive. I am
a wife, in other words

"woman acting
in a specified capacity" as in

"fishwife" or "mother."

What I would rather
is irrelevant other than

afterhours otherwising.

No one begged me to become
this fiery virago, ceaselessly

scraping and gutting, searching
out places to bury the wasted

entrails. One night I dug
too close and struck a root,

looked up and saw you:
-plaque nailed

to your trunk read "this one?"
-there. I must look for

something else to look for
or look at, like my boy

on his back in a box. Eyes
closed, palms up and open

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Rachel Zucker