The savor of mango is unlike Toothsome papay. My son takes My hand and brings me Into the classroom; Fluffy Is absent and unremarked-upon And in his place, two butterflies Use tentatively in a sentence. One, he explains, is a boy and The other one lays the eggs, I counted the dots, is a girl. Why do boys not feed babies? He reaches to pull his shirt open And I ask him, did you ever see A baby eat broccoli? a ham sandwich? Someday I will tell him Food is an unpleasant subject For poems, but today I am concerned With biology. I am a science kid, He says on the platform. Where'd He hear that. I know where the one About men nursing came from. Seeing myself tell that story I feel like California's Poisoned groundwater and remember How much work it is to be real. Someone told you men can give milk, But men don't. What about moms and dads Who don't have children? Those are Called men and women. He says Oh a lot. It's immediate And it lags into the next moment And is quiet, what the teachers call A zone of proximal delay. Without This apparent lull there is only Brilliance and potential. With it I get to keep a faith In the unguessable next.
Previously published in The American Poetry Review. Copyright © 2010 by Jordan Davis. Used with permission of the author.