Every place our ship sailed
was flown from the kite of
my stillborn child.
I saw him/her rise from
an Incan mummy bundle,
grow thickset and short
to utilize the thin air of the Andes.
I would not strap with the awful bindings
to misshape her noble head in her cradle.
His perfect shape was among the Nazca Lines
and the rock formations of Hell on Grand Cayman.
I found her form buried in reefs of coral.
The sea turtles looked on, dropped tears
that he would not move among them.
I walked hours in the children's cemetery
on Île Royale. "REGRETS"
Denise Courtalon's parents
had inscribed on her stone.
My child had not lived at all.
I took my place among
the Living Dead of Devil's Island,
tried to pray before
the beautiful boy standing upon
the Shrine to Children
in Arica's Church of San Marcos.
I tried to pray to the Pachamama, the Virgin Mary,
but the one has to do with fertility,
the other with innocence.
My child rose up from rape.
How could Ecuador and Peru
but be blessed by El Niño?
From the child vendors seeking success through
the Virgin of Montseurrat,
I purchased Panama hat, stuffed penguin,
panda bear for her.
All the camelids carried him gladly.
I fed her rum cake in the Caymans,
fruit tart in Puerto Varnas.
My child played among the children
circling the plaque to Tupahue
in the Sacred Place of God
on Cerro Santa Luciá.
Every ice floe in Antarctica held my child
at play among stick-figure penguins.
He slept cocooned in ice caves
above great whales breeding.
My tears sank whole floes.
I held her up in my arms
to show her Ushuaia, at world's end,
protected him from the wind as we rounded
the Capes of Horn and Good Hope,
which I was without.
The white heads on The Flying Dutchman
gave me a knowing
nod as they whipped past.
I sought her in the race-crossed faces
of children in Vietnam.
Before the smothering in my womb,
I fed him/her
Incan coca leaves to chew
that the dying would not hurt.
I joined the Mothers of the desaparecidos
before the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires,
could only want to disappear after my child.
I purchased a small wood carving
of Niño Jesus
to place under my pillow at night.