After my son was born

I’d a snip cut in his tongue.
Blood scissored down his chin.
At every squall I’d been unsnibbing
myself and starving him. He knocked
me so my nose coughed blood,
punched a finger through my cornea.
Blood blubbed on my nipple
where his gums met. On the radio
somebody was saying something about Syria.
My son jerked knots of hair from my head,
tears dashed off his fontanelle. He’d fixed
my hips so my clothes didn’t fit. I blundered
him once against the doorjamb:
blood. I’d bit his father
when we were younger, drinking harder,
made blood come then. Twice I tried to leave
him screaming, twenty minutes at a time,
but couldn’t keep schtum.
One breakfast I broke the mug that insisted
“Don’t Mess With Texas.”
Smashed it. And all the time
I smiled so much my teeth dried.
He made everything heavy.
Like they say the bomb did for a while,
so that Americans swam
through their homes, eyes peeled,
picking up everyday things and dropping them
as though they were violated with light and pain.
As though blood hadn’t always been there, waiting.

More Poems by Ailbhe Darcy