~This poem previously appeared in Pacific Review (1994).
She knew, she tried to hold me, she said—
If you go from this place as you are,
breaking our walls and windows
with your hard, dangling heart,
an undone mobile hung awkwardly close
to that corner you've turned to take,
then, no—a child,
you will tighten quick with life
and we will cry for you long,
long after you leave here,
a broken ornament the years glue down.