we all hate to be alone

By Johnna Benson Cornett

we all hate to be alone, oh my child.
i feel your heart knock against my hand,
your shrieks to my shushes, i am here,
yours, so sleep in your little bed.
you may let go of the world, it is here,
it is yours, still, sleep awhile.

we all hate to be alone, we should be trees,
our branches espaliered, in a grid,
and small birds rocking on our hands,
birds shaped by the patting of palms.
we should be twined together, earth and sky.
i am yours, connected, sleep awhile.

we all hate to be alone, so do i,
the bowl of your toothless mouth
open in its red pink cry:
this is how we shut one another out,
lost in maelstrom of dissatisfaction.
i am here, outside, sleep awhile.

we all hate to be alone, and for that
you are always found on my fingers,
your pale hair, the clench of your hand,
the pleasant folds of your limbs,
the dance of caress, all day long.
i am here, let go; sleep awhile.


Johnna is a member of Segullah’s editorial board.