Will be a boy. Dean Michael
will go to law school and play
football. I'll listen to September
get loud and then quieter,
sneak into the smallest room

to write s.o.s. notes in returnable soda
bottles, my belly crinkled as the toe nail
that falls off after a tortuous summer
on pointe. This child you always wanted
swims in my arms like that gone nail,

I talk to it with my mouth shut. It teaches
you to sign, lip reads my nipples. In the movie
of September, some of the stills are missing.
I clutch the baby like someone at a crash site,

hear glass fall. the child we will not have
is all we wanted, all that holds us together

© 1995 by Lyn Lifshin.

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