The Birth of Lovely Veronica

Photo by Bernd Dittrich. CC0/Public domain.

On the morning you were born,
covered with film,
coated with the remnants
of your cocooned state in the womb,
a knife was lodged
in Thomas Murphy’s chest,
stopping his heart
with the hardness of steel,
and the thug who cruelly robbed him
ran into a sheeted night
of just-fallen rain,
in that nebulous wetness
that remains
before wind and air
dry each drop to nothingness.

On the morning you were born,
you cried your first cry,
and Kim Yung cowered
in a solitary cell,
awaiting another visit
from the torturers,
the ones who never forget
Tiananmen Square
or his shoutings
that Mao was dead.
He wishes he were dead,
that someone on this earth
gave a goddamn,
that today they’d just finish the job.

This morning, when you were born,
a Sudanese mother
her skin/bone son,
rocked him
in her shrivelled arms,
sang return you now to Heaven
in her own, raspy tongue
while nurses cleaned you off,
prepared you for our smiles,
our initial touch and kisses,
our deceiving ourselves
and the world
that you’re in a safer, better place
than a mother’s cave of calm
or the planes of ghosts
and Gods.

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