Heart

 

good friday Mo puts something in the ground
swiss chard or green beans. 
a decade past she knelt to twist the soil
behind a succulent cactus, its spines
overgrown and sharp as syringes. 
in the shadows she nestled a peach pit. 
the first fruit ripened and she split the meat
between us. it was the sweetest thing. 
once I culled a purple lily from the dead
Juju had just fallen, and I crooned my prayers
to the single living stalk till others sprang
from the dirt to hear my worry. 
not one bud ever swelled to open. 
Juju still lies dormant on a hillside. 

here in what must be called God’s periphery, 
his hand grasping 

for the baby needed only in fraction. 
here where death is fulcrum 

and this boy is formed to grow that boy
a purposed beating heart 

and die. how not to wonder, here, 
at the choosing of the mother. 

her body halved between the warm
and the still. how behold the man, 

silly enough to sow hope
in a namesake, without breaking.

 sometimes there’s nothing left
but to bless the child, the live one 

with a stolen heart humming in his chest. 
oh be blessed boy be blessed.