Secrets

Before you were born, your parents
Built a plane of butterfly wings,
Whirlybirds, and popped balloons, then flew
Away before the epidemic of baldness.

For a hundred days, they flew across the world,
Cooking pretty birds caught in clouds
With a fishing pole, drinking tea
Made from raindrops boiled by the sun.

The beauty of the world was too great
So they made love on a windy wing,
Conceiving you in the shade of the highest mountain
And lowest cloud, immersed in condensation.

Later, they landed the plane
And made a submarine of fish fins,
Lobster shells, and shark teeth; the rudder made
From the tails of a thousand wiggly shrimp.

For two hundred days, they told secrets
Deep underwater, secrets that lovers
Never tell, but afterwards they forgave each other,
And gave birth to you on a shipwreck.

You were born in the coldness of the sea,
So that’s why you always want the warmth of sunlit lips,
For sea anemones only kiss dead virgins,
And kisses of mussels die in their locked, dark shells.

Underwater, you practiced for years
To dance the ballet of manatees,
But didn’t have a slimy tail or waterproof eyes,
And manatees laughed at your pointe shoes made of clams.

So your parents made a spaceship
Of soda cans, stop signs, and crystal balls;
The first time you kissed, it was to kiss
The lips of the closest constellation.

I’m jealous but won’t ask who it was:
All I know is he can count his lucky stars.