The Geography of Genetics
by Alexandra Winzeler

I hover in the valleys of your breathing
Praying and worrying the pause will stretch forever
Your skin is worn soft, like a stone
Against which waters' currents have run
Among the disinfectant of a hospital
The sigh of tulip soap lingers with you
In the solemn solidarity, I watch you sleep
Where am I in the map of your face?
There over the wave of a cheekbone and across closed eyes
I am made of everything that came before: I am made of you
I once found it inconceivable that I would someday be
A teenager, a woman , a mother
But the concept of time now fits within my mind
Someday I will be worn, soft like a storm-tossed stone
And a grandchild will watch over while I sleep
Surveying the map of my features, searching for her place
And while waiting in the valleys of my breathing
She will come to the crest of my cheekbone, the curve of my closed eye
And recognize herself
She doesn't know it, but in that moment, she has also found you
And everything that came before
Ringing somewhere deep and distant
Like a song she had never heard with her ears
But which felt so familiar in her heart

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Poem Copyright 2008 by Alexandra Winzeler


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