Alexandra was born smearing tomato sauce over her tiny wrists
from last night’s spaghetti supper as a primer for the other red substance
that would later come out of those very same veins.
Theodore feels like a wishbone that somebody snapped in two equal pieces
before he even got a chance to wish for anything besides his own death.
Cameron wakes up with hangovers feeling like cosmic swirls
and tries to drink them away with more cherry vodka
that just makes him blackout harder than the Big Bang.
Sophia works in a filthy diner in Harlem from 9-5,
paying the bills for a child she doesn’t even want to have,
sometimes even contemplating a double drowning:
double in that she’ll feel the tiny heartbeat of her unborn son
cease before her own runs out.
Nishaka listens too often to scientists that make hypotheses
about how love is just a figment of the imagination,
something the brain creates through the firing of synapses
and the close contact of neighboring cells;
he will grow up believing the feelings between
his mother and father are not real.
Elisabeth hears voices that tell her to join knife fights
and go to bed with men with olive oil stains on their front pockets
and not a single condom in the back ones.
Patrick just wants to be re-named Patricia.
But what Alexandra doesn’t understand is that sometimes pasta sauce
comes in colors other than red, Theodore doesn’t know
that wishing wells are sometimes more effective than wishbones.
Cameron can’t even fathom the thought that one day,
he will find something other than alcohol to fill himself up with.
Sophia’s going to meet a customer at the diner who treats her right
and she’ll keep her son and will hear his heartbeat for the rest of her life.
Nishaka will find love in the way pine needles touch down
like feathers on the forest floor, in the crispness of sails
on ships set for the open sea, in someone else’s hand folded over his own.
Elisabeth will put the knife down.
Patrick’s gonna be who she always imagined herself being.