I was born in a village.
The stars were not shining.

My father drove my mother to the hospital.
My sister said
when she visited me
after I was born,
my face was very red.

I stuck my tongue out at her.

I should’ve been born two months later.

My mother reached up
to get a jar
from a kitchen shelf
and the water broke.

From then on,
I have been fascinated
by things that arrive prematurely.

The sunken garden is already blooming,
the whitewashed frame of the window
with the patched up screen,
and the slow fuse of a feeling
burning the night
up to the ceiling.

I am slowly moving away
from my birth
toward another birth.
That of a wind carefully shhhhing the leaves
off the ground.

I should’ve been there too
but I am too busy paying attention to myself,
picking up memory,
losing the words
and finding us both.

from Becoming Someone Who Isn’t (ESAW, 2007)

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