Originally appeared in the APA's Newsletter on
Philosophy and Medicine Volume 90:2, Winter 1991
When I sat watching that T.V. special the other night
after Mom told me I'd never been breastfed
I remembered again the baby you made me throw away
like garbage. It was something crawling out of a sea
gasping for air while your doctor friends
pushed its face into a toilet.
I hope your life is almost over.
You were supposed to be nervous, chewing your fingernails:
their half moons setting bloody in your cuticles;
your eyes black with ash, and your cheeks wet.
But instead the nurse saw you put your face down on my bed
and snore like a motor while somewhere else
in another room where you didn't have to see it,
they scrapped my insides. It could have been a girl.
But instead her fleshy crib threw her up
and afterwards my breasts hurt as if they wanted to spit.
Hopefully, late at night sometime,
when you're drunk enough for it to make an impression,
something dead will recognize you're its father
and reach for your ankle through a sewer grate.