You might find family members you don’t
know exist: half-brothers, half–sisters
living not too far away to visit. Might I find
a better welcome than I had? I ask other family
to be tested, but they shrug. They know
who they are, don’t care about the dead, don’t
want to uproot trees or discover locusts, plagues.
The shock of learning parents had mates, children
before. We create family trees, search records
for discrepancies in dates, places.
Maps of chromosomes lay out questions that
bully receivers with troubling news, mystery fathers,
resentments, shunnings. Incarcerations. Some say,
I don’t want to know. A pill too bitter to swallow.
Don’t ask if you might not like the answers.
Let it be. Don’t give information, location,
evidence to authorities. Gag the impulse.
Follow the ways of old Sicilians. Omertà!
Every sperm’s a goddam secret. Where
is that tender sister I was meant to have?