Excerpt from "Mulberry"Seeing for the first time the purple glints of my newborn’s eyes, her skin downy and puckered and tumescent, perfectly ripe for this world, I thought again of mulberries, of being held in their branches, of purple stains, of the burst of berry on tongue, and I saw giving birth was akin to climbing a tree: a reaching toward light, nourishment, endurance, life, a cradling and an offering of the most cherished to the world.
Maybe this is not true. Maybe I did not think of the mulberry then. Maybe I seamed it into my memory later: mulberry, birth. Who can say what thoughts occur during birth? It is stark physicality, a rending. It is an elbow against sky. And yet, on some level, the mulberry was there, subsumed by my laboring. Everything in my life was there with me, on that delivery table. Is it a lie to create memories after the fact? Is it a fiction to plaster over experience with words? Is it a violence to insist a tree means something other than itself?
To read more of this essay, look for my book Xylotheque, available from the University of New Mexico Press and other online retailers.