by Mark Bibbins, Editor
Letter to My Future Child
The way you don’t exist is remarkable
When I have been hotwired, cobbled from
Spongy tubes specifically to birth. At least to bud
Would be preferable, shedding a child
Like petals drooping from a center.
I apologize profusely to you,
But I am content in my selfishness and
My love of this girl I’ve created.
Today I watched the bees graze,
The perfect mix of threat and song and binge,
And I felt I, too, could bob and maneuver.
I guess they reminded me of you:
Your toddling bumble, your absent suckle,
Your mere addition to the swarm.
You would be a plump grub in honeysuckle
Were you to be anything, but you will not
Be. This is something I’ve decided.
There is only so much life to go around; I’ll take
Two rations. The petal and the pistil.
And, hey, the calyx. The ability to share is mythic,
Like you, and who needs another creature,
Another sea monster? I already have the
Swooping vertebrae of my back, I have my bones
Diving above and below my skin
Filled with just the right amount of people:
One. How could I bring a child into this world
When I want it all to myself?
Life is that right and full of love, flowers, et al.
I’m sorry for me, sure. But most of all, Little Bee,
I am sorry for you.
Thursday, September 3, 1987, 9:37 a.m., 9:39 a.m.
In the two minutes before my life begins you are
An empty head, the floppy torso of the domesticated dog-
Feral years absorbed in fetal breeding, the liquid piebald birthcoat,
Chutney blush of autumn. Marigold, pumpkin, cabbage.
Now a distal sister, newly minted, scallion-smooth.
They pluck us apart and place us a duel’s-length away:
Twenty paces of feet frozen in pomegranate arabesque
And eschewing approximate numerically correct toes.
The lactating bed, the barking tongs — my thoughts are still
Color and string, an espadrille, but I recognize
The solemnity of the occasion and cry. We shared our pooled blood
For eight months, we punted plump sprees, we planned glottal blots,
We kicked in semaphore, floating like canned beets.
Now twenty paces and two minutes away, I fumble for
My dual twin who stood with me in that chromosomal toffee
Then watched as I followed him as his slippery encore.
On my first birthday I was the center of the world, on my
First birthday he was the circumference a radius of two minutes
Away at all points, our flat circle heaved into
The mulling world for twenty-two years now.
Doubtless double, you are a scrawny apostle, you
Saw the world in its raw shimmer for two strange minutes,
You were whispered the world in those singular two minutes, you
Are pulling me two minutes ahead into the multidirectional light.
Megan Amram is a recent graduate of Harvard University and comedy writer living in Los Angeles.
The rest of the poems are right here, in The Poetry Section’s archives.. You may contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.