Family Tree


I dreamt a snake coiled its way into a dog’s head.

The tail burrowing a home into its snout.


I waited for its breath to cut, the orchestra’s final

collapse before      the lights go up.


Hamsar is used as a modifier for a partner;

means literally      of the same head.


When they say she is sick,

(which could mean


her hands could not unknot themselves

after the stroke, or      I hope she


does not drive home in her condition, or

please do not anger Baba;


these pills, the last heart-

beat spares we have left in our pockets)


this means     we were a dream or

had once thought we were.


And I think of hamsar–

of the same head. The coupling


of blood. This cankered tree splintering

through our capillaries. This familial wolf that


hunts itself. The frenzied meat I hold

together. How many before me had a snake


curled against their brainstem? Gnawing its own

tail? Already finding its teeth through tissue?


How many will I rear to this table myself?

My blood is an infinite mirror. Runs thick. Runs


naked outside the house. Finds shelter

from itself. Hears the crescendo breaking.