Yesterday, I looked
back, shaving. A moth crawled through
the fog of my face
in the mirror. An open
window unmakes a wall, the house.
Last night, I pointed
my son to the climbing moon,
the moon dragging its blue
mane behind. Our knees were wet.
Our knees were whipped red by grass.
Today, I barred his arms
as the nurse placed her needle.
I whispered, he bled. What cuts
him is the love in my voice.
Tonight, a mantis
will fish moths from the porchlight.
We’ll watch as she folds
wing and body into her
pinhole mouth. Then we’ll pray.
Tanka: a Japanese poem consisting of five lines, the first and third of which have five syllables and the other seven, making 31 syllables in all and giving a complete picture of an event or mood.