by Dana Koster

When you are born I will say: love me
as I loved my own mother -- desperately,
as though love could stitch a path to the dead

and I will guard you with the greed of ancestry.
Oh Starling, Magpie, my Dove
I'll never eat eggs again, I'll slaughter
snakes and foxes, I'll build a house of reeds.

I'll age one year for each question
you ask of me, small one, so choose well
and cradle the answers in the shell of your ear.

Dana Koster recently received her MFA from Cornell University, where she currently works as a lecturer. Her poems have appeared in Berkeley Poetry Review, Cal Literary Arts Magazine and Kaleidotrope. When she dreams at night, she dreams of ripe, sweet California strawberries.

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