Reincarnations

“When I come back in another life can it be
as child, not as mother?”
From “Arguments with destiny: 15” by Luisa Igloria

The space between life and death
and life again is so bright,
shivering with eloquent vowels,
songs that hover out of range
of our hearing, the braided
textures of bounding bounded
light.

Conversations there don’t fit
into our words, minds, bodies,
or so my tiny daughter
assures me. She remembers.
She says not to worry; smiles.
What’s most important never
dies.

Her eyes streak with color like
a slow small explosion, leafed
and layered, interlaced
fibers twining together
as inverted galaxies,
first hinted at in Doptone
dust.

Around her small shape gather
half-forgotten words from stars
and planets, floating featherlike.
The cosmic conversations
she describes form a kind of
invisible aura of
points,

dissolving memories not
permitted, treasured echoes.
In her, the words of God melt down
into an ingot of flesh
and vision. I believe her.
I can almost see the shimmer,
heat

radiating from her birth.
I can hardly wait. But, “No!”
she says sharply. “Wait! Next time
it’s my turn to be the mommy.
You have to promise to wait
for me!” We stare. I recall
blue

veins chained and knotted and twined
together across my chest,
as my heart stretched and grew great
to hold her, this alien
angel, this eternal ache.
I can’t argue about this. I
promise.


This was written in response to a poem by Luisa Igloria, the day after Luisa’s poem was posted, and was originally posted on the same site. You can find the original post at Via Negativa.

This is a true story in our family, and my (now adult) daughter is heartily sick of my telling this tale. I hope that this more poetic version of it will be more appealing to her.

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