On Daughtering

My father prayed for daughters
but there is only me,
each fist a reminder of her twin uncoupled.
I fold my hands together,
learn to be plural enough
to form his collection.
I carve my heart into eight chambers
and fork my tongue.
Each side makes a language
and they speak a collage.
I am fraction in form.
My numerator, victory.
My denominator, a curse.
Original sin was digesting my own mother.
I swallowed the entire family of heirlooms,
mouthing milk into pearls.
Dad was jealous of my eating,
of my years draining the well.
He wanted a future daughtered into security,
a cache for his old age. I am
one woman paying double price
for her inheritance.
If I die, let him butcher me
for my pearls.