Protochild 4 

“All dreams start with a cave,” you say and smirk.
My nose in your hair like you’re sea wind. My nose
into your sea wind hair and cave wind hair
and mother’s breeze of lilacs soft kissing
followed by more soft kissing. 

“To have two beloveds,” I said, starting the day,
“undermines the definition.” The rain comes
and stops and starts up at dark.
Our kid’s first laugh blooms into the belly of cave. 

After I gather the thrown firewood,
you still have your finger to your lip,
singing as if through it.
You sound like Melanie Safka
to her mom. 

“I had an unseasonably warm youth,” I say at dinner.
Our boy giggles himself out of his bedding.
I pick you dark wildflowers in temperate firelight
by the opening of our cave;
remake his bed with larger leaves; read. 

What is beloved but some rush of parted self, distant
but burgeoning like iron into a bloodied mouth?
What is a mother but a breeze of dream? 

A cave is a cave if one calls it such.
In the dream, I part the vines of your muscles and breathe.

Daniel Altenburg.JPG

Daniel Altenburg received his MFA from the University of Arizona (2011), and is a PhD candidate in creative writing at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he teaches English and works as Co-Editor-in-Chief for Rougarou: A Journal of Arts and Literature. Daniel is interested in space, the familial, their intertwinement, and the vulgarities of colloquial and gendered language. His work has most recently appeared in The Offending AdamDelugeYalobusha Review, and BlazeVox, and can be found at his His book Flight is forthcoming from Spork Press (March 2019).