13 poems for new mothers

i could try to make a painting,
but it might not be any good.

i would clean my desk,
but it seems like a lot of work.

i should go for a walk,
but will sit and watch tv.

i might try a poem

after all,
any fool can put one word
after another.

before the wild baby came
and stole all that was left,
i’d squandered a fortune
of time.

the soft tissue of my
eyes, breast, skin
are scraped
bloody and raw
by the sandpaper of your cries.

luckily, you have a naughty grin
that is the light of my life.

don’t fall off the bed
you’ll bash and break your head.

please don’t throw your food,
it is quite horribly rude.

don’t chew up that paper
i totally need it for later.

no munching on plastic bags,
you’ll choke and then you’ll gag. 

do not eat that stick,
or you’ll get miserably sick.

don’t chew on that pencil,
your intestines will feel dreadful.

And no to sugary yum-yums,
go ahead and have a tantrum.

Now i know i’m supposed to say,
How i love you anyway.

but really what i implore,
is just be quite and do no more.

in no shape for poetry today,
another day of drear and gray.

winter wracked with cold and sleet,
another night the child won’t sleep.

i’m constant, true, but worn and shred,
dreaming gold, azure and red.

this intermittent
yet incessant
makes every
in my body

i thought perhaps a poet
    this month i would be,
turns out i’m shit out of luck.

it seemed writing verse might
    be pleasant you see,
but ‘tis painful to
    write rhymes that suck.

(on re-reading Ariel)
To gain the lair of the black poetess,
you follow only the most hobgoblin woods
and crooked byways.
But you travel in vain,

no match for gold-kissed daggers,
  cutting bloodless,
gleaming immaculate new worlds,
     air lilting.

you have been sick, restless, crying.
sucking desperately for comfort.
i am completely drained
a container of chaos.

but when i think i can’t take it one more moment, 
(god, protect me from even the writing of these words)
i imagine you were lost.

commit to memory
how i would wail,
for the return of
the discomforts
i possess today.

i’m sorry i was mad when you woke, 
screaming at
12:08, 1:18, 2:37, 4:36 and 5:22 AM
and wouldn’t sleep without my worn-out breasts for

i’m sorry i had no patience when you cried
because i needed to go into the

i‘m sorry i got irate that you wouldn’t sleep at nap time
though i rocked and rocked and rocked your

i’m sorry i got upset that you wouldn’t eat your lunch or dinner
though i served you only the most soft and sweet

i’m sorry i was bothered that you wanted me to carry you all

i was just so

now that you’re asleep
i see the error of my

i’ll try to do better

bitter cold rain,
but nothing crystallizes.

then again,
nothing melts either.

the house where a baby
sleeps the radiators
hiss in dim afternoon
lit rooms
the quiet a
strand of opals.

lady painter i watch across the alley
through her illuminated window.

daubs paint thick as pudding
dreaming in thick brush strokes
succulent crimsons and blue-black
alone in a trance of unguents.

for your lunch
i spread butter on warm toast.

she never catches me, but
does she ever watch us, unaware,
and long for your soft caramel skin,
your fat creamy cheeks?