Running up a staircase after thinking:
the child is taking my life, taking and giving my life
ordinary thought among the shifting molecules of stair, air.
From the street I see him in the window
his fleshy body, fat of delight,
and inside I hear his star-lung and reed-throat, sounding freely.
He can mimic the ocean-sounds tape.
The instructive nonsense of singing to a baby,
Oh, I made a little person—someday he'll be a man.
Taking the bridge, the ladder of heaven, to get away—
the pattern in the carpet like many half-closed umbrellas.
Growing sounded like going; almost: almond.
A sieve, a sandal—a teacup without handles,
a flowering tree of petals, breastmilk heavy metals,
our old house as it settles.
Once there were cairns to signal the turns.
Atlas of the new city: blue lines for rivers
and streams and black for roads,
the brook we can see through the skin on the bridge of his nose.
Elizabeth Sullivan is a mama, poet, and environmental and bike activist. Founder of City CarShare and a new venture, Streetline, Elizabeth lives and works in the Mission District of San Francisco with her partner, Gabriel and her son, Jonah.