Take her drawings down from the wall. The negatives
remain: a pale rectangle where your daughter’s dragon
breathes flame, crayoned on scrap paper you framed, a square
where sun and cloud smile above a pirate ship and mermaids swim
with fish. In another city your daughter dreams of swimming,
eyelids flicker, car with no driver. You not there to stroke
her feet. She flings back her sheet, walks into rooms you haven’t
seen―sunlight on counter, doubloons, pieces of eight.
Wash faint dust lines from the wall, remove nail, trace
shapes’ shadows, move her blessed art to face your bed.
Bow and keel―what will be your figurehead, ablution,
serpent’s breath and mermaid’s tail.