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The Scar

My son slipped on the ladder
to the pool and smacked his head.
Blood cauling on his small shoulders.
The doctor stitching him whole.

Three years on, after a haircut, 
the scar still rises, a quarter moon
a woman will ask about
as they lie there one night,

her fingers in his hair, 
her voice in his ear, the secret 
delight of him—a bit
like burnt toast—in her nostrils
as she takes his strangeness
into her. What she won’t know
is how the frail, Phidian skull 
I held that day in my hands
resounded on the hot concrete. 

It echoed all summer, less
like an egg cracking in a bowl,
or a world breaking, than the wild
beating of love against my heart. 

Dear girl who will one day win him, 
that part of the boy is mine.

—from Central Air, available on Amazon

The Scar

“Every mother and father knows that a beautiful stranger will one day steal their child away into a new world. But please, let us hold on to a few, tiny, secret and invaluable memories.

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