Whispering a desperate incantation
before a mother I never knew,
I imagine Mary purses her lips
in disappointment, wondering
why I've bothered to collapse
on my knees in a puddle
on the side of the street
and call her now,
now that I've fallen by myself
in this long-empty lot by the bushes
like some lurking creature, crouching,
crawling, simplified, savage,
alone—always I wanted to be simpler,
wanting when they called me, never to go back.