On March 14th, At 8: 10 In The Evening, The Phone Rang.
“She’s in the hospital, ” said Howard.
by Charles Chaim Wax
“What’s wrong? ” I asked nervously.
“The umbilical cord got wrapped around the baby’s throat.”
A cold wind blew across the dark streets of Brooklyn.
I parked three blocks from the hospital.
Five buttons were missing from my fifteen year old corduroy jacket
so I kept it closed with my hands.
I rushed to the waiting room
at the end of the first floor corridor.
“I got a daughter, ” Howard immediately said.
Then he asked if I wanted a look.
“Second one’s Annie, ” he said.
She didn’t look cute.
In fact none of the babies looked cute.
They all appeared tormented.
I could understand why.
They had been thrust
into the immeasurable expanse
of the whole eternal kit and caboodle
where each body was growing and dying
at the same moment.
After seeing my sister I looked at my watch.
I didn’t know how much longer I should hang around
because there was really nothing for me to do.
I told her I was going home.
Howard said he would stay.
He did the right thing. He was the husband.
As soon as I hit the arctic air I became hungry
and found a pizza parlor and ordered two slices
eventually dumping four into my gut.
Five kids played video games in the back.
As I watched them
I watched my coffin sail through
the indomitable night sky of Brooklyn
and I felt only joy.