"A Poem is Never Finished, Only Abandoned"
If you had been born
below a freeway overpass in Compton, like a vagrant
where prenatal care consisted of curse words and wishes,
where broken glass was used to sever our umbilical
and screams of traffic covered my gasps for air.
If Santa Ana winds brought their microwave stale breeze to your christening,
and your colic cries interrupted the sign of the cross over your head,
then I would have kept you.
Instead, you had a manger beginning. Cattle waited one farm away
and the gracious globe of moon made its shadows from your cheeks
The crisp New England air dropped its wind near your bundle
and all that didn't belong was me,
my desperate screech that knocked snow from branches and the
sweat that stung my squinted eyes.
My choking lullaby sobs did nothing to console you.
I left before I had to scrape my imperfection behind your glory
and declare you my redeemer.