There was that old map of San Francisco
that hung on the wall of our house down the coast,
a cheap print that I’d lose myself in over
cereal and coffee. I’d see in its unlikely green
tufts of willow and acacia,
all these oblivious parcels
I think of this as I hold you, &
then look at the picture of me holding you.
We were all so young then,
we’ll say, years from now,
marveling at the blond in Sam’s hair,
the tightness of our lines,
how everything still held together.
But for now, I sit atop a horse in
Rancho Laguna de la Merced, the lime green hills swallowed
in winter mist, beads of water pooling on patches of routinized skin,
breathing deeply of the sea air.
But for now, I (30 years old and in perfect health),
imprint on your skin
an infinitesimal band of mortality,
that you might forget it, & sleep.
And for now, you (five days old, more jumble of
cells, alive & plastic, than human), imprint
on my skin an infinitesimal band of mortality,
that I might not
as we were &
as we will be.