Start in the produce section.
Hold various rounded objects of light
yet solid weight, a cantaloupe will
do. At home, roll up a towel from the dryer,
if you can find an abandoned baby
doll—even better—bounce either
in your arms like a buoy on not-so-sure seas,
absentmindedly pat. Find that box in the attic
or basement, some place dusty or
damp with tiny shoes, shirts, dresses.
Compare the size of everything
to your palm. Exclaim, Hard
to believe. Make your hand the world
to measure life by. Rediscover
the blanket with small creatures sewn
into the edge. Sink
your face in it—breathe deeply of curls,
ride sweet sweat like waves. Bide
your time by filling the chambers
of your heart so far
they will hold stretch marks to match your
gut. Remember to be curious
about that day you took her or him to the zoo.
Write phonetically the way she turned
elephant into only one syllable.
Practice saying it just right.
Scroll through photos until one of her napping
on the floor, notice
the snag of the carpet, the grain
of her hair. Build a church out of saved
preschool projects: pilgrim hats, handprint
snowmen, fusilli dinosaurs.
Model it like Notre Dame, use
plenty of Elmer’s Glue. Then worry
over the corners of things, the amount
of sugar in peas, economic forecasts, and
hard faces. Listen to an infant’s eyes
snap open two aisles over, fist
to mouth, pacifier fumbled, a mother’s silent
prayer to make it through the bread aisle.