I have this son who assembled inside me

during Hurricane Gloria. In a flash, he appeared,

in a tiny blaze. Outside, pines toppled.


Phone lines snapped and hissed like cobras.

Inside, he was a raw pearl: microscopic, luminous.

Look at the muscled obelisk of him now


pawing through the icebox for more grapes.

Sixteen years and not a bone broken,

nor single stitch. By his age,


I was marked more ways, and small.

He’s a slouching six-foot, three,

with implausible blue eyes, which settle


on the pages of Emerson’s “Self-Reliance”

with profound belligerence.

A girl with a navel ring


could make his cell phone go buzz,

or an Afro-ed boy leaning on a mop at Taco Bell--

creatures strange to me as dragons or eels.


Balanced on a kitchen stool, each gives counsel

arcane as any oracle’s. Rodney claims school

is harshing my mellow. Case longs to date