Papa wanted babies made
of sugarcane, dead green stalks
warping into torsos and limbs,

arcing along the same path
bodies take to existence.
He wanted us constructed,

rearranged and eyeless,
drying, wafting sugar
smells over the brown

backyard. I told him No Sir,
I don’t masquerade myself
as more than a shifting sac

of blood; I am nothing
but the afterbirth that trailed
my toes, those red, discrete,

and holy bulbs slipping
from my mother like a startled laugh,
like a prayer breathed face-down in the dirt.