You lose time-giving what life takes
by MARINA GIPPS
and taking what life gives.
Regrets none, only women,
fetal position on military cots.
Strange witches thinking of old world churches
and how they could never return.
I tried to imagine the faceless, the spineless, the heartless
hands inside, in the knowing knot of uterus,
the smell of woman on its unformed lips,
I tried to imagine hairs to be present,
eyes to be imagined, small & beautiful
or crossed & obscene.
The scriptures saying that all creatures
great & small were beautiful,
the scriptures doting on whores
and how they could never be raped.
But never could I see
this child's eyes,
endless in its agony
of never existing
or meant to exist
years later, a mythical stork bringing food
to the grovelling ants, two barren parents,
awaiting a child
with a train of light glowing off its forehead
in that far off awakening.