Someday we will look back
and this will not matter—
the retching, the low groans coming
from a place you never knew existed.
I kiss your clammy hands, pull wet ringlets
from your face, do those things
you don’t have the vocabulary to ask for
as you go to battle against whatever
has invaded your body.
I hold you and you wilt.
But in the morning, the sweat above
your Cupid ’s bow lip will evaporate.
In the morning, our time begins again,
mother and daughter, me in the service of you,
you beholden to no one, my seedling,
your plump, tender, exhausted face
looking at my midnight of a face
For now, rest your head on my shoulder—
my sprout, my narcissus,
my center of everything.