Inside the box I feel the waves’
constant movements rock me back
and forth, currents dragging me
to places I don’t know, the child
moving in my stomach.
I can still see the room—thick gray
walls, dusty tapestries, a lumpy bed—
dimly seen during those long days
of silence and near-night darkness
until sunlight pierced the black,
a shaft that caught me, held me,
golden rain soaking me through,
clear through, running like fire
inside my head, my legs, my belly.
For punishment, an even smaller space—
a box—abandoned on the waves to sink
into the cold sea’s silt, and yet
we do not fall but float as gently
as an empty shell, and as the child
turns in my belly I can see my father
turned to stone, his fancy noblemen
frozen too, and my son with his shield,
bright mirror, and that stony face
reflecting their evils upon them.
I rest my hand on my belly, feel
the scrape of the box on sand, and hear
someone picking at the lock.