Hello God, It’s Me

Hello God, it’s me

its going on day three and

still my baby won’t sleep

I cradle him close to my chest

steadily tap

rhythm on his back

like that of a rocking ship

the downbeat of the bass

we syncopate with the slow motion of gravity’s pull

back and forth


his angry flailing lulls

still restless I feed him my dreams

since circumstance has taken my breasts

I hold him closer to my now flattened chest

and smoothly sing this prayer

let my voice be the milk

that fills his little belly

let it be like honey

so that he may never go hungry

loud enough to mask

the dissonance of gunshots

down by the deli

please help him sleep quietly

and I will sing

nina simone, etta james, and ella

into the unholy hours of the morning

before the daily grind of the laborer begins

I will sing

until the day he walks upright


no longer needs me

to get through the night

I will sing calmly to let the devils know

that God blesses the child

of the mother

who works hard to give him his own

nineteen pounds, dark brown

after snaking his small fist into the fold under my arm

and pinching my fat lightly

on night three

of wrestling


Finally, we sleep

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