A LETTER TO MY FUTURE CHILD
they say that you become your parents.
I hope for your sake that you become your other mother
‘cause then you might have a fighting chance
at a savings account with her same love
of scanning the circulars & exclaiming from time
to time, eggs are two-for-one! &
salmon is $7.99 a pound!
oh wait, that isn’t much of a special. fuckers.
if you have any desire to come into
this world with a good attitude,
you may want to stay cooking a little bit longer.
we’re both sore losers & we love to talk shit.
Lebron is the most overrated player to ever play the game.
he’s got no heart. no fire in his eyes.
we drink beer & yell at the TV & it’s satisfying
in a very predictable way.
that is to say,
we won’t ever force you to do something
that doesn’t ignite your every cell
(even if it will buy us a house overlooking the sea).
& if you by some off chance wind up like me,
I’ll teach you how to fall in love
with your sentimental spirit.
it looks better on you than it ever has on me.
the problem is that
I want to buy everybody a pair of baby binoculars
to prepare them for the sudden appearance of beauty.
I want to carry everybody’s baby binoculars for them
when they are tired or cranky or hungry
& if they cannot see,
I want to buy them go-go gadget arms
so they can touch the faraway mountains & faraway sands.
your other mother will spend her days
talking sense into us both
but not so much sense that we forget
to wave to the birds-of-paradise on our walk
to the cliffs where she & I
first suspected that we’d swallowed
the sky & that the sky had swallowed
a forest full of yesses.
what were we to do but everything?
we now know that all the trees in a forest
are connected to each other
through underground fungal networks.
I like to think of us three as trees,
I like to think that Log Lady was onto something
when she said my log does not judge.
what do you say we ruin every pile of leaves
this side of the Prime Meridian?
I won’t have to show you how to misbehave—
I’ll leave that joy of discovery to you.
we will take you camping & point out the
stumps of cut-down trees kept alive
by their friends.
I will say, did you know they feed them
sugar solutions through their roots?
a pause. an exclamation.
an inevitable question.
no, unfortunately we can’t do that for people,
we will say.
it will make us sad to break you so young.
I don’t understand time. I want to eat it.
Marisa Crane is a queer writer whose work has appeared in Wigleaf Top 50, Jellyfish Review, Hobart, Crab Fat, and elsewhere. She is the author of the poetry chapbook, Our Debatable Bodies (Animal Heart Press, 2019). She currently lives in San Diego with her wife.