My Daughter’s First Migraine at Thirteen


My head never throbbed, star on fire, vulnerable to a whorl of sound: hall havoc,
alien beings with tattoos, tongue rings, lightning behind my temples. Nausea is
what I know as influenza, doused with ginger ale. She wants me with her, as if
this is another trip to usual haunts, secondhand shops, hunting a cream pitcher
for her grandmother’s bone china.

How do I tell my only child she must branch out like burst capillaries into her own
adolescence, unknown galaxies, the dark pressing on her eyelids, the light erratic, a
short in the switch? The mother who dressed them both in the same hues, wrote
Baby Poet on her T-shirt

moves further and further away, voice garbled, radio between stations, thinning
like egg drop soup cooled with ice cubes, slipping into some other language, words
misplaced like keys: supplant/supplement, pill/peel, is/if. Under common stars set deep
in their sockets the wind gusts. We reach for lines, taste static, and miss.