I have been outside less, I have taken to saying,
in the days since my daughter was born
passive, as though it were somebody

else who bore her. And bore her, I also have
taken to saying, as though she were a hole.

I have witnessed a woodpecker force,

through the week, a gape in my neighbor’s
barn side. I have watched as my daughter
knocks, woodpecker-like, her searching mouth

into my breast. But I don’t mean to say
she instills in my body an absence. What nothing

assembles within me was already there.