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more poetry

Lisa McAllister

 Summer 2006

from Blood Ties

Blood Ties

When you were my baby
And I was your mother,
I painted your nursery red
For you to feel at home in, to wade in, to sleep in
Like the place you came from, deep inside

When you were my mother
And I was your baby,
You cradled me in your arms while crying thick bloody tears
That pooled in my baby fat neck and stained my bib and my knees

When you were my brother
And I was your sister,
You chased me on bikes
Around and around
Til I fell and you laughed
And ran and told mom I was bleeding on the lawn

When you were my friend
And I was your confidant
We whispered girl blood-secrets in the night
Legs pressed together tight in twin bed
Dreaming of futures vast endless space

When you were my teacher
And I was your student
You drilled me with questions
And demanded repetition
You schooled me in manners,
You shocked me with answers,
You filled me til empty and beat in my head

When you were my lover
And I was your lover
We lay in the rain and recovered our breaths
We talked through the pain and clenched teeth and tight places
We wallowed in poems and shook in cold rhythms
We dissected our fingers and eyes and our spleens
We gave each other blood gifts of raw nerve endings
And broken fingernails

When you were me
And I was you
We melted in blood
We became one
I crawled inside your chest
As I threatened
You crawled inside my head and wouldnt come out
You bled my blood, I bled yours
Out onto white sheets
Bursting out
Bellowing through
Bubbling up
We were born
And gazed up at our mother





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