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Lorin Oberweger

Born


On the night I was born
seven coyotes howled
one for every heart I'd break.

The amnion was mint-green
and smelled of fresh-cut grass.

I arrived, a perfect lotus blossom
in one hand and in the other
a catseye marble.

On the night I was born
the machinery stopped
in our little upstate town.

It was four a.m. No one noticed
except a blind lathe-worker
who became shockingly aware
of the shudder of his own heart.

He thought he heard a baby cry,
but that was impossible.
I was miles away sucking
the electricity from light fixtures.

On the night I was born
I played chess with the midwife.
We chain-smoked
But she had to hold the cigarettes.

I knew her game was in trouble
when she tried to crib my rook.

She should have known
I was no ordinary baby.


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