the first thing you did was scream
when your mother cut the umbilical cord;
it was the doctor, but you didn't know.

yet loud is the quietest you can be, new being,
for you cry without need, for a want made unreal
by its wordless expression. I tell you this
so you can hate me instead of her:
the first home you left unwillingly.

there will be other exoduses;
conscious of your own shape
against the horizon, you will feel small again,
familiar with the briny sea air,
most happy with starless nights;
you will eat pistachios because they're her favorite
and play poker because she taught you.

young being, there is no self -
only other selves -
and you were formed
in the cradle of the ocean,
calmed by seagulls and their raucous lullaby.

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