Family Tree

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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.