I pour into her eyes,
adoring this girl,
not mine, but a mother’s somewhere —
On my hip
she and I,
but I am serious…
It’s decided, we are going:
Funny, my mom is at the ticket window
before we board the boat
and tears were clearly
drying under her eyes
I tell her, this is the girl I’ve been talking about,
and the baby bops against me.
Mom is grim and won’t talk much,
just hands me two tickets.
On the boat, baby and I pass
the haunted mugs of men
that are bulbous, seasick and white.
I carry her and feel no weight,
my girl is light.
But we know we are going the wrong way,
and so the ship is cut in two
by a wall of rocks —
I squeeze her and we jump.
She sinks still and straight down
in the big brown river,
she carries all the weight somehow.
I come up for air and I scream:
Help, I say, there’s a baby girl down there!
I end up living.