I’ll Spare You the Details
We treat them like it’s catching, like those people
chose a joke birthright. Some have no eyes,
the sockets patched with paper flesh; others, gifted—
three arms, four, an ear. The Kid is one.
His just-born heart thrummed outside his body,
no breastbone, his mouth red-wide for the surging
scream, but silence is what was heard, save the swish
of lifeblood through the Brutechild’s valves,
bulbous wet root meant hidden all his days
there exposed like a woman to the air’s sting,
like the woman who lay beneath him, dead—no,
struck at what she’d made. Most Brutes are put
to work the fields, bent over their secrets; swollen heads
bobbing in and out the rows. The spray planes still circle
on the hour. I don’t know what the pilots think
there’s left to kill. It’s not true: some were born here.
It’s that no one gives birth here anymore.
This poem is from American Purgatory (Eyewear Publishing, 2017).