The Darkroom

—after Louise Bourgeois

One day I’ll write about anything else.
I long not to write about family.
It creeps in like a darkness
that loves you. It says, I am afraid of being alone.

do not abandon me.

Once I was rawer and lived inside her.
I had them then, all the eggs I’ll ever have.
They clutched me, nestled, the first blood
and the last. Barely half-formed and already
the future held me, mother before mothers,

while the past was busy developing my childhood.
In the red dark, spaces bloomed solid and solids
retreated into spaces. Mine a photonegative
of theirs. When the image births

from its chemical pool, it takes time
for the last drops to fall, for the paper to dry,
for us to see what it is.