Issue 14

You begin in frenzied coital weather
in November when leaves gather close
in their gusts. The light darkens them and
they move in brave circles.
There is the pale egg
in its corresponding universe,
a little moon descending in its host. I
think about its passage
as I hold mercury under my tongue
forecasting favorable weather for
sperm. You announce your arrival
in a urine stream, in
a vial of blood, everything about you
is liquid. You show yourself
in an ultrasound,
tumbling in your perfect
ocean. The technician is checking off
organs and extremities with the gentle clicks
of a key board. We are breathless,
suspended as she counts one, two, three,
four chambers of your heart. Our untrained eyes
see only grainy shadows
until we notice, clearly,
this one deep eye socket
which we view
with the astonishment
of astronauts looking down at the Earth
from a hushed universe.
You are completely formed.
We leave the doctor’s office
changed in some way, with a videotape of you
in hand, which we hold close, clutch,
this blueprint of your being,
your heart
a tiny beating plum.
Under The East River, the subway
is filled with humans—
is it possible they
too have made this same journey,
from fallopian tube to birth canal? As
your blueprint
signals the very beginning of the world.
And soon
we watch you over and over
in slow motion, in fast forward,
each time you are clearer
as if we have brand new eyes.
Suddenly you somersault:
there are the soles of your feet
pressing against the wet globe,
footprints in ink and sand.
You are emerging.
We cheer your one eye
your soulful feet
your tiny plum.