They hang in the dark
corner of a room, three black
duffel bag sized sacks
like giant eggplants, upside down,
wrapped in a woven membrane
like a nylon sock. The face
pressed in the bottom of one pouch,
eyelids closed, is a girl I knew
from high school, her hands
still puffy, clammy & cold.
Though always small in stature,
she is the largest of these
intruders — slick bat-like larvae
who wait with me this night to be born.
Lazily she unfolds her almond eyes.
I can’t decide if she recognizes me.
My mother has come to visit, now
eighty-three. She wears the winter
coat I remember from the fifties,
carries her snap-lock pocket book
over one wrist, & a Kleenex in her hand
that she uses to dab at her nose.
She looks tired & old as she fights
back tears. When I ask what’s wrong,
her voice cracks to a whine.
Her mother’s gone. She watched
her die. Slowly & gently
I pull her into me, hold her softly
& rub her back. I kiss her hair
to soothe us, to open our eyes,
so we can bear the uncertainty
of form — our ongoing metamorphosis.