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Ultrasound As Palinode

ISSUE:  Winter 2004

& the initial premise?

I am holding a picture of my sister’s unborn child, its face
     seemingly reflective.

Does this change anything, this window into the soul
     when the soul is forming, heart
     like a closed rose?

Or similarly what of the call to criticism? That we should take up the pen
     & critique?

In the photo, my Ur-niece is a small moon, the wrought spoons of her hands

Because something is fundamentally changed by this kind of seeing—
to think that I knew you
     before you were.

Or the dilemma of having a critical language before the poem
physically exists—i.e. theory superseding the line.

Yes, there is a beauty in transparency, in explanation,
     in rendering.

But I want the difficulty, the first there was nothing
& the then there was light.

In my hands the image of her body like the prow of something
     wriggling into being.

Because poetry should inform theory & not the other way around.



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