Ever since the fire, my son’s anger has gotten the best of him.
My friend Priscilla thinks it’s time I start hitting him back.

I’m conflicted: she knows pain. The pathology of it. The potential
it has to shape you, before other things get the chance.

B, her youngest, and smarter than sand,
just told me about the rivers in the ocean,

complete with their own banks, weeping willow trees, undergrads
oaring open reflections with first their boats, then their paddles.

She says that in the instant he swings, I should swing back,
so that the pain seems to come directly from his own wanting

to inflict it. This both makes sense and is unimaginable to me,
as I watch him now, toe from room to room,

like a soft wind, in a small jar,
with its lid on.


Sara Potocsny