I know already what a disappointment
we will be to one another.
Hasn't that story been told often enough?
Too much love, or not enough:
The wrong love anyway, that molds
one in the other's image when it isn't
rejecting what it sees of itself
in the other's pan of dark water.
Do you like the bracelets, Mommy?
she asks. Four thin bangles of brass
and oxblood enamel. I thought
about it for a long time, she tells me
I bought the plainest ones.
Because you like plain things.
I do. I do. I do. I tell her
back. I think of all the plain things
I love. A room without music.
A fresh flat duvet laid on the bed.
An unset table. I put the bracelets
in their box. They jangle
In the cotton nest. I love them
I tell her. I will wear them tomorrow.