When you pick your youngest up from school,
he’s missing his left ear.      I left it in my desk.

He seems embarrassed as he pulls his hat over
the blank stretch of skin, staring straight ahead.

                                                 Can we go to Taco Bell?

A week goes by and then one of his thumbs is gone.
He rolls his sleeve down to cover his fist.

                                                 I forgot it in my locker. I’ll get it tomorrow.

But instead the next day all his hair is shaved off.
Then one of his feet goes missing.
                                   Then an arm up to the elbow. 

It isn’t until he climbs into the car without eyes
                                          that you begin to worry. 

You shake him by the shoulders, asking,      Who did this to you?

                                                                  I didn’t see, he says, feeling for
                                                         the sunglasses tucked in his pocket. 

When finally there isn’t enough left of him to send to school,
you pour the last pieces into a jar and keep it by your bed.

After dinner you lie down, turn off your reading lamp.
You unscrew the lid and he slides out:

two fingers running through your hair.
A nose that sweetly nestles in between your breasts.

It is, of course, much easier to love these sweet parts.
Easier to understand a boy who never cries
                                           or asks for much of anything.