balasana (child’s pose)

she carries it in her hips:

an emotion

a longing the length unfurled
of the lined rings in sequoias

she carries it
with his intent
(sometimes
without permission)
in between

and through her lovers,
she carries it further
(sometimes her lover,
she carries it, too)
and resists that it sag down
or topple out

she notices it
when walking,
stubborn and obese
by the way others call out
and stalk or gaze
and fade away

sometimes she drags it
through
the largest widening
making room for
another in pain

she carries it
in a baby’s cry,
feels it against
her babe’s thighs

she carries it
whether she is called
mom or jane or
any self-given name

and it only rests
knees to chest
in the privacy
of the couch corner
or the bathroom sink

it funnels
to the crease of the paused book
when she’s done
being a woman for the day

when she can release
it,
shrinking slender into
the not-so-heavy
flanks of a girl

even alone,
what a woman carries
is not only hers

but of everyone she loved
and looked at
that day, that year
in all times, both
in fruitful deliverings
and arrivals unheard