First Wound Kept Open

The thought
of all the grass

blown over to one side
hurts me. That wind

can do that. I must have
gotten to him first

though he pushed out against
the little pouch in me

I now call soulless.
Of everyone I’ve met

on earth I always find
they got here first

and will they teach
me their good

reason for staying?
I would discipline

a comet against
my way of leaving,

push it out of sky after
sky and after

every loss on earth
the baby I was

would come back. That’s
what it means to be lovable,

to give oneself whole
again whole birth

whole placenta whole
breast whole milk

whole fist whole flower
but only what fits

harmlessly whole
in the mouth.

The baby comes and goes,
comes back to weed me

of my body, feeds my
bald birdies

what’s not for me to know.
I had hoped that all

my animosity toward men
would lead toward

safety in one who
would wake me before

I hit the wooden world
and rock me there

to say what violence
had not yet come.

More Poems by Elizabeth Metzger