Heavenly Mother by Geneviève Paiement

I       take you           out of     my     pouch           put you           in       my pipe
inhale         you       crush         me         snort       me       distill         me           in
the     bath       I     have     my         metal       fillings       removed           replace
them     with       you           climb           into       you         put     two     million
tons       of     thrust   behind   you         spend         three     months     getting
to       Mars     in     you         go     back     millions         of     years       slip into
the bodies           of       Eocene       mammals           heading     back       out to
sea         spend     fifty         million     years         becoming         a whale       for
you         to     fall   in     love         with me         to find     me           fascinating
enough to       sketch         endless           drawings     of     my     baleen       my
flippers             my     blowhole       too         much     of       us             is     never
enough             feels   simple         as     God       or     grief     this love           just
as       infinity           as them           indestructible         as a       black box         at
the     bottom       of the     sea       with         obscure       squid         covered in
flashing         neon       lights           withstanding         thousands   of   pounds
of pressure             like     the       proverbial       mother     lifting     a car       off
her baby       because           I will       always       be       your       baby           open
the     flood     gates           let       adrenaline         wash     me         clean           as
I       fight off         every villain         from     every     fairytale           bring them
to me         I will         eat       their       beating       hearts         with         one foot
rocking         your         cradle       when     I     say       I     want     you         back
inside       my     body       or     I want           to     be     back       inside         your
body       in     a   past     life           when     you         were       the     mother       I
don’t         mean       a     body       back       inside     a body   I       mean     your
sludge       inside       my goo         or       maybe       resting       on     top     of   it
or       maybe               my       haze           spread         over       your     dew       like
a     thin     layer           of   algae       or       a       line       of       cumulus       cloud
on             the         horizon       our     ghosts     intermingling         one         half-
dream           breathing     the     other     I mean       motherness         is       close
to     godliness     I mean       on     the   ninth     day     our       Holy       Mother
created       life       put     it       in       her         pipe     and         smoked       it
Geneviève Paiement is a Montreal-born journalist turned poet. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Times, The Guardian (UK), Salon.com, Vice, Minola Review, The Southampton Review Online, The Malahat Review and elsewhere. She was a 2019 Antioch-Frontier Fellowship finalist and a top-three finalist for the 2019 Kurt Brown Poetry Prize. This September she will begin her poetry candidacy in the University of Guelph’s Creative Writing MFA program. She lives in Toronto with her husband and son.