She was going to be named Jean–Luc but she was not going to join the fleet.
Instead, she’d build the first starship to take us out of this galaxy;
we’d test this simulation with cardboard boxes in the yard
—the adventures would end with peanut cookies, lepat pisang,
and steamed chive dumplings as a reward for saving humanity
from the impact of imploding planets.
I would adjust your pigtails and your hand–embroidered dungarees,
Jean–Luc with sharp, inquisitive eyes and bandaged knees,
a tomboy like your mother occasionally was in her
vacillations between states of ontic presentation.
Like her, you contain the dreams of frontiers unfolding from frontiers
a fractal loop of infinite discoveries.
You were conceived only in my mind on the day I was frozen with fright
(a routine and precautionary medical examination
to root out hereditary demons within my blood)
my entire form petrified in confusion and despair
at possibilities I had not wanted to consider,
and decisions I was not ready to make.
“Do you want to have children?”—my doctor asked.
“I don’t know. I don’t know,” I murmured, barely understanding.
This mourning too was an apparition of the mother I would never be,
a role I would never play, an emotion I had no vocabulary to confine
I denied your presence with the full weight of my steeled recalcitrance
—a sword of tears nestled within the sinew of my will.
Emotions too are ghosts.
© 2017 by Nin Harris