Marty speaks in flowing Hebrew to his mother,
Who potters around the kitchen
Cooking three cakes at once and
Gently smiling at me like I’m doing her a favour
For being friends with her son.
I wish I could tell her it’s exactly the opposite,
That his gentle insight and fierce determination
To prove I should value myself,
Makes me a little stronger than before.
That I don’t feel like I’m lying when I say
Uni’s good and life’s not.
His mother pretends not to listen as we talk at the kitchen table.
I have too many stories to tell him but it’s getting late and
I feel sluggish after four pieces of cake. I am slow to leave.
I wish I could be their daughter and live in a house with
Lights like sculptures, endless cups of tea and tinkerling accents.
When I finally go, I feel the ice freezing over once more,
Pain wrenches at my chest as calamity sets in.
Yet I try to hold onto the way his parents entwine
While they watch TV, or how Marty’s categorical brain
Fits so well with mine.
Some days I’d rather no family to my own,
Most days I wish to create a family of my own
—Baby powder, pastel blue, hopscotch, loving hues—
And all days, always, all ways, I wish I didn’t have to do this