For My Son Born in La Mariscal
You bob & spit & bite
at my breast. You are my private
colony of sharp stones. I burn
your umbilical cord to ash.
Come, meet the spirits. Before
your birth I thought you an eyeball
bruised purple. I have no crib
to leave you in, but a maizena cardboard box
& a blanket of my thick dark hair.
I have done many things to feed your body—
things. Things for the price of what I
can endure in thirty minutes before
breaking. I know I can’t keep you,
but even stillborn I used the blood
I gave you to wash my legs clean.
Copyright © 2017 Natalie Scenters-Zapico. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Winter 2017.