Cuckoo’s Child


As one mother shapes small, insatiable galaxies to rise

like yeasted fields of wheat or flowers or children,


or perhaps as another mother’s hands ache and scatter

pepper flakes while pickling heads of winter cabbage,


all vinegar and heat and music both foreign and starved,

so I divided day from night and opened my wide, red mouth.


Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello is the author of Hour of the Ox, winner of the 2015 Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and 2016 Florida Book Award bronze medal. She is a Knight Foundation and Kundiman fellow, and her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Best Small Fictions, The New York Times, and more.