A mama dolphin carries her dead calf
through the Bay of Islands, dropping her young
occasionally off her nose and back, but she keeps
circling back to scoop up the remains—I had an abortion,
willingly expunged a body from my body, heard
the vacuum device, like the one that sucked blood
from around my mother’s mouth as she lay dying.
The Torah says there are five stages of mourning. For my mother,
we clothed the mirrors, every reflective surface in black fabric,
sat for seven days to memorialize her throaty laugh, the tips
of her acrylics, her love for America’s Most Wanted, Circus Peanuts
and Pik-Nik’s that she ate by the handful. For you, my unborn one,
the one I cast out towards the fleeing water,
I tried to write you poetry. It wasn’t enough. I searched
for your body in google images. What does
three month old fetus look like? Did you have a heartbeat
or toes? Would I have named you Sara, after my mother?
You were the length of my hand. A mama dolphin carries
her dead calf on her back through the Bay of Islands,
but I let you be transported from my body.
If I had circled back, what would have remained?