When I give birth they’ll serve him to me,
I’ll touch him, and when the skins
connect I’ll feel his pulse. Maybe
another cord will replace the umbilical
and eventually I’ll learn to walk him
with puppet fingers, sticks to adjust
the hands and feet, to prevent collapse.
Maybe, when I dress him in my glasses,
scored lenses from looking at the world,
the blurring will break his newborn eyes,
drain them of their carbon, and I’ll
mend his cornea with rose petals
beneath the surgery light. Maybe
he will consider God, and I hope
I can mold his thoughts into faith,
show him the wide dome of Heaven.
Maybe he’ll be loved by someone, held
as I’ve been; I’ll put my heart inside.
I’ll fill him with sacks of my blood, gallons
of pulse to beat below cuts and calluses.
The doctor now hands me the baby
and I am afraid to touch him. I know
what work my hands will make,
how they are stitches on his flesh,
sewing the mother and her child.
I hold the baby in my arms, wrap him
like a stolen rib. Everyone can see
my muscles contracting, pulling him
to my empty abdomen, crying
to turn him back into a part of me.
Lachlan Chu is a Californian youth poet whose work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the Bay Area Creative Foundation, KALW, and Narrative Magazine, among others. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Eunoia Review and Nightjar Magazine, among others. He serves as editor-in-chief for The Acedian Review.