Certain Ruin

List the places 
           mothers shouldn't aspire 
to be if they want to make sure 
           their children don't turn out

           failures, forgers
of checks, degenerates; 
           prone to violent 
outbursts followed by year 

after year of exponentially 
increasing unhappiness. 

One of these days;
           mark my words, said friends from work.
They didn't mean take a piece of chalk
and draw a circle around every
other one. 

They were talking about children:
mine. Which means they were 
also talking about me.
                                                      Certain ruin
was the curtain with which they wanted 
to darken the view from every window. 
Inside, trained birds lisped 

the impossibility of joy.
But I'm tired of feeding   
dried kernels of sorrow, or tearing
hanks of bread  to throw into water
that should reflect 

lIke quicksilver— a surface
that doesn't break up the changing
light into points as much as it 
proliferates like spores.

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