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How the body betrays
its mortality. The monthly
ebb and flow of sex hormones;
the cyclic keeping of charts,
temperatures, hopes. And always:
the tiresome crimson finale.
Expecting? What else.

Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, etcetera:
They all give birth eventually.
Show me the barren one
who waits and waits and dies
waiting, her hand grasping
her wrinkled hand, gasping for her
change in this life, yes, this life!
And: Thy will be done.

We cannot conceive
of such a thing.

Remember how Moses stood alone
with God atop Mount Nebo,
to catch one last whiff of the
milk and honey before God said:
thou shalt not go over thither. So that
was that. Moses breathed his last
on the precipice, eyes undimmed,
vigor unabated, buried in the desert.

You received a helium balloon
for your thirtieth birthday.
We released it in the backyard
to watch it drift between
the slack electrical wires
and over the treetops
and off into the pale peach
glow of a ponderous sun.

That’s when I postulated that
perhaps the greatest gifts
of all are the ones we long for
but never receive; you remind me
that’s absurd.

Photo by Lazarescu Alexandra on Unsplash

Cameron Brooks

Cameron Brooks is an M.F.A. candidate at Seattle Pacific University, studying poetry under Scott Cairns. His poems have recently appeared in Poetry East, North Dakota Quarterly, Third Wednesday, Ad Fontes Journal, Ekstasis Magazine, and elsewhere.