by Emily McGrath-Ho
If it weren’t for the way my mother split her apples
(seed starred, then flesh dug out to
I would never have known how to throw myself at the knife—
How to thumb the rise of my own daughter’s wrist
The same handled way my mother gripped my arm
Guiding the zipper of my navel
Spilling my seed starred flesh
Firm and bursting
Into waiting hands.
First daughter of a first daughter
These are your mothers—
This is how we split the flesh to perfect halves, child,
as though we were godjesus,
as though you were the star shaped holes in our hands
giving us the right.