Seeing the Body
Rachel Eliza Griffiths
Not hers but mine. Not hers ever again. Ever
hers, my body pulled through, two
long windows open in the dark of birth,
the gold cord raised too in its wake. Awake,
the first morning. The first morning & all,
all the windows were closed inside. A blindness
scalding broken sight. The silence pulled through
my nostrils & veins, the ether of air failing
flesh. I get up from the shape I once was
& open the white blinds in my brother’s house.
The light is specific. It is the 29th morning
of July. Last night they dragged me howling from her
body in the room. The room had a name,
number 3315, in the cardiac wing. In the room
I saw her winged shape leave, rise, forgive the
vessel that fled her. Now mine or ours, I
stare in the mirror while everyone sleeps
the aggrieved sleep of the living. Behind my eyes
a dead woman looks back at me with no trace
of recognition. I say ‘Mother’ & my own
feral mouth opens. Closes without any light.
Motherhood and daughterhood.