One Cry

One Cry

No borders exist
on a body bearing life, just opened
gowns & genitalia, secretions
spitting question marks to modesty

while the landscape does the work
of transforming to every season,
for everyone. A mother

for each breath, extends the ends
of the earth and goes
to its ends. You’ve heard
how she lifted a car
to free her toddler, her superhuman strength
called to manifest, how

another threw herself
beneath the tires to stop
the rolling car headed for traffic. Her twins
trapped inside. A mother breaks

open for each child, her bones
when the tornado hit, her whole self
draped as a shield
for her children

for her children

are at risk of being eaten
in the woods, the sea, her own
a bear, shark, a man’s
best friend

from her street

was mauling her daughter
in the face, and what
does a mother do?

Punches the pit bull
in its jaw, bites off
a furry nub of ear, in her own backyard

a mother will fight

her neighborhood whispering promises
to her sons to run these backhand errands
for riches, for your protection. If you want
to survive . . .

At 10 years old, at 8,
her boys were being groomed
by gangs in Honduras. You’ve heard

how the hero mom
tossed her babies from a window

to save them
from a fire, how the Wolf

dressed in Grandmother’s shiny pearls
& grinned—a mother knows

salivating gums
when she hears the teeth click & cocked,
the bullets out from her nephew’s head colliding
down her block
toward the gutter. These mothers

half-empty bags
with hope, fed hungry infants
all the way past borders drawn
with unearthly lines. Not like these lines

scarring a body that splits
& howls
when we are torn
from Her, the body

we scream to
for food. Our body.
Our mothers.
Us children.
One cry.