Delivery Rhyme

For Alyssa

As anyone
is apt to, you began as someone

else’s symptom. As in
other beginnings: drawn lots, blood,
some dancing on the heads of pins

and inside needles’ eyes,
cellular revelry,

hopping
of microscopic

turnstiles. Lucky guest,
grist, leapt

long odds to spark
the tinder in the dark.

Then, the subcommittees met:
made merry in duplicate, triplicate

and so on, much of themselves, divided
and divined and concurred.
All sides insides, pre-ambulatory
perambulation meant: sure

ambit, short orbit
in a warm aquarium set

to the muffled music of a single sphere.
As in other beginnings: parting seas, the future’s
violent egress, screams and sutures,

aftermath’s average agony
on umbilical belay

but soon to solo, unfold all
those origami limbs to test
the inevitable debutante bawl.

Wrest from the nest
and the rest is you, dear:
dressed for the bright lights
in bits of my sister.


More Poems by Dora Malech