Ascension of a fallen page to flutter against the face of a
bust. Its marble, etch-marked in the rickety museum, affirms time.
Calm, despite the drama, my fingers dazed— how 
does an unsure wind startle a window? This sculpture
erected painstakingly by the artist is of my smiling
father’s sentience. And this lagoon of mirrored hallways forged by my

grandfather. I want to resemble neither. Unlike a home, every house has a 
hovering name— a fly in a vacuum, glass wings hauled up by God— I call it 
inheritance; I prefer common nouns for the accident of birth. During a
January noon or June midnight, I imagine, the womb gestates in optimal light,

kindnesses a jelly-skull needs for nutrition. To preserve those, my head now
leans on a beautiful shoulder I’m desperate to long for. So I try
mimicking what my mother did. Endure. Never say
never, I learn. Out of ordeal—  spring good joints, bad bones. Mother fights
osteoporosis. I fight the unpredictable bitterness of my tongue, uttering
prayer after prayer to atone. My favorite one, St. Augustine’s, I keep aside. It

quenches thirst to spawn anew—  Lord, make me chaste, but not yet. In a
restaurant I loved as a kid, one that has stood the test of time, I order tomato
soup, thinking the buds responsible for my hungers might reclaim a lost
tenderness. I turn thirty soon. Will this body ever find a gracious way to

unfurl? Let loose in a kingdom of kitchens, my chattering teeth lust for
variety. There are no spices to be found. To stave off fear, I tear into a
watermelon. Seeds come loose in my mouth, rolling past a molar that required an
x-ray. The dentist is to advise tomorrow if a root canal is needed. Half asleep, I
yowl from the icy rot of a doomsday clock. In a recurring dream, a knife peels from a
zygote, reel after reel of light. This lush mother of pearl, I wrap round my wrist.