I lost a sesame seed in the restaurant
with too-oily bread and day-old rice —
just fell out of me in a wet red trickle.
I lapped it up with a toilet paper square
and prized it next to my mother’s
motherhood. Four months onward
I lost a lime, 2 ounces and 2 inches
to show for 12 weeks of time. I could
have swallowed the green-yellow
rind were it a way to season it back
within me but instead I gave it a second
place ribbon, and now a river of sunrays
dances over it when I pull the blinds.
When you lose twice in a row, you
become afraid of the grief rubble,
bubbles of blood gnawing into
egg-shape in your gut. So I did
what all sensible women with
a growing collection of losses
do. I waited for exactly nine
months and another one
but this time I put loss at a loss
because I lost a whole icebox
watermelon. No one knew quite
how to reprimand me. Was I one
of those people who found their
eyes on the top of their eyes?
They asked me where I wanted
to put my missing watermelon.
Not the watermelon but the missing
of it. I said of course on my winning
table with the sesame seed’s wreckage
and the lime’s timeless nonbeing,
but a doctor suggested I give more
human characteristics to my suffering.
So with the open page of my palm
I pyramided them all together, blew
on them like a lantern of wind over
sea tossing against sinking islands
and glued a few organs that allow
seeing licking hearing singing.
pinocchio’ed into life and slithered
from fish to feather, slipped from
my table, found its way through
a window, refused to lock
the door behind.