From The Judas Ear

Golden Egg

Name of the donation agency, which made me
the goose: twenty-two and waiting

tables at Bacchus on Meadow in grad school.
I had to inject myself with hormones each day

for a month, to prod my ovaries. Three grand a batch,
I’d told my boyfriend, dropping the egg

donation forms in his lap. I’d ignored
his protests—You’ve done way too much acid;

your eggs are mutants—and filled out
the questionnaire. The only part of the agency’s

paperwork that made me shiver was when I had
to pick The Photo for my donor profile:

the picture that showed me at my most blue-eyed
and strawberry blond, my zenith of pink-

cheeked and monetizing cuteness.
I knew which one. I had my mom mail it,

no explanation: me, three years old,
in overalls of lilac corduroy. I’m holding to my ear

a toy rotary phone’s red-plastic receiver
as I pretend to talk to my granny. One

chubby finger loops and loops through
the spiral cord. My huge grin: both rows

of baby teeth exposed. After donating eggs
one time, which paid—for six months—my rent,

I tried not to think about it: The Photo,
which, over years, has grown into Them. Children

I never wanted, I want you now
to know one thing: You can find me

in the rhymes of every rockabyed night
your real parents spent by your side,

soothing you. I’m not real to you,
not a whole body: a partial body, a scraping,

and what does that make me? Don’t try
to find me by spit, by genetic

sleuthing, by Are you my? I hope you
have all of your fingers, your toes, that you

love the old stories, those about the dark
forests and the children who survived,

like Moses. I’m the golden goose who
dropped you into someone else’s basket and flew.

Invertible Head as a Basket of Fruit

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