We are all together again
on Halloween eve
just like always, me
up to my elbows in pumpkin guts,
you and your dad
at the table, seated
before spread out newsprint.
Divorce is irrelevant
when there are pumpkins to carve.
I attack another
with the largest kitchen knife I own,
in imitation of a bad horror movie.
How pale and vulnerable
my wrists are. I am crazy
for the seeds. The seeds
are the only reason I carve pumpkins
anymore. Well, and to see what you—
at your age—might make. Interwoven
throughout one stringy womb,
I find sprouted seeds. This one,
pregnant with fledgling
jack-o-lanterns of the future;
lit and grimacing faces that will
never be, maniacal grins for porches
we can only imagine. Then, I tell you
a story: the autumn you were in utero,
my first trimester, I craved pumpkin seeds,
and your dad brought them to me by the bowlful.
In fact, you are probably 95 percent pumpkin seed
I say and you say, I don’t really like them!
We three, around our table, laugh. Then,
we light candles and place them inside the hollows
we have made. Just like us, they flicker and wink
at decay. Cleaned and carved by loving hands,
the very faces of creation.