When I was young and watchful
I collected the flecks in my food
to keep as samples.

I thought my parents were trying to poison me.
My parents knew this,
and tried to prove they loved me

by not poisoning me:
Dad held my arms
while Mom brushed my teeth.

I insisted that they were trying to kill me,
and my father, who knew how important it was
to articulate the ineffable,
made me clarify this thought.

He took my hand
and I told him,
every night you come to my bedside to sing,
and every morning I am worse.