Omphalos : Epoch

by Kelly Weber

Who taught you stars are just milk, sweating?
Who taught your body to unfold?

Behind the latched coal of your mouth
is the girl who pushed down the boy
who told you that you were not strong.

Today you do not have to feel nice.
You can barb yourself with disappointment
and the rachis of shoulder blades,
gnaw things at your wrists.

When you feel like a skinned heart
rest its blue thumping in a white cage.

Today all the men laugh and eat the churches
of your future empty, leave you to resuscitate charcoal
and chalk.

Rise up, small-bodied bone-girled thing,
remember the clicking of your body
into the chamber
of your mother’s pelvis.

Remember the sentence you scavenged
in her, the granite flue you lived in
for years, teaching yourself to see.

The men undo the indigo ring
that haloes everyone’s breathing.
Strand us without oxygen’s caul.
Mangled shield. But you

have lived in the remains of chapel and hair,
draped yourself in another atmosphere
siphoned from your mother’s blue skeleton.
Timbered casket, gray-bored
ache once called lungs.

Say this ash you’ve syrinxed
into something that can save. Sternum,
holy, word mineralized to blade.

Kelly Weber is the author of the debut poetry collection We Are Changed to Deer at the Broken Place (Tupelo Press, 2022) and the chapbook The Dodo Heart Museum (Dancing Girl Press, 2021). She holds an MFA from Colorado State University.