Gone, Ungone

Georgia Pearle

What things we thought we’d be
able to be, back when I took
his swarming half-cells into me

and swelled. Together, we thought.
Then I outgrew his waistline,
then I blew out my own skin,

and the human I held up for him
full of wordless wails and need
and need—

he couldn’t stay to count hairs
on the small scalp that matched
his scalp, couldn’t

daily confront his own eyes gone
young in the new face we’d made,
but still: slice a section of my brain

you’ll find the cells of our son,
you’ll find the father’s DNA, you’ll find
we never get to leave what we leave.

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