I was born today three-hundred years from now

of an atom and an eon on the verge of collapse

one triplet of three surviving, thriving sperm

a baby spread beef-like, dripping juicy and fresh, unappetizing

arranged as part of three on white paper hospital sheets

crinkling our arrival like so many royal trumpets blasting

 

I’ve grown old, my face is nice suede

folds on face and neck wrinkle and hide nooks of flesh

that wait alone, blind to the sun: the sun which brought my skin to such a prime state of puppy face wrinkling

I am the christmas present bulldog

with fold upon fold of

wrinkles and jowls denoting wise elder status

 

along with the sun beams,

my age spots and facial creases count other causes:

sleepless nights during which I just could not remember

the fourth line of “Howl” or a different poem

and fancied myself insane; also-

movements, uprisings and revolutions.

they spring up year after year, annual, perennial, flowerless plants pollinated by cash and sowed by

casualties of capitalism

and movers and shakers that would soon become tyrants

revolutions:

women’s. black’s. immigrant’s. women’s again. disabled.

I worried for all of them

til my lungs turned black out of chronic anxious smoking

tried to quit and see a therapist instead

it was even more expensive.

I sold my TV and have felt better ever since.

 

Revolutions come in smaller scales

some I went through all on my own

These were the Nourishment Revolutions:

born, I drank only breast milk,

first from the tit of my mother or the milkmaid

I weaned early

because my mother needed anti-depressants again,

and the milkmaid was stealing from our house.

so my two brothers and I

revolutionized and drank the same milk from fake nipples-

later an uprising occurred

and my baby teeth joined forces

to organize, revolt

and decompose the structure of solid foods

it went on like this for quite awhile

until the bourgeois came out of patient waiting

and seized my kidneys and stomach in a vengeful war.

now I am back to mush and milk,

and diapers at that

but I maintain a few teeth to soothe my pride.

 

I cannot wear dentures with those gnarled-end canines jutting out of elderly gums,

the structure of false teeth demand a valley-smooth slate

but I find the absence of solid food worth it

my steady-standing teeth are relics of younger days

 

curdled brain cells!

I can see you now

laid out on egg shell colored bed sheets

in a Dartmouth autopsy room

or else under a glass dome for observation

a snowglobe which medical students lean over

like children .

oh will their expressions reflect the same wonder

that darling faces light up with on christmas eve,

peering into those half-spheres of glass?

snowglobes swirl with flakes of plastic

but organs under similar domes, well, I hope that they are just as wonderful. they could save a life

if they held the right secrets

and the scientists and students had the key

to discovering them

 

I was born yesterday

eighty-eight years ago

the one surviving twin, an immediate successor to

my still-born brother Charlie Parker

oh no where have the years gone

too few revolutions and too many

sun spots and slabs of drooping skin…

 

Rachel Knight, ~2007

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