Leveler Poetry Journal
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It will not be a testament to you

your child’s life expectancy.

How this will will save you


his spindly chest inside your robe

on a stoop over Baker

Beach, the sucked space


of skin pulled into ribs, counting

the seconds of gap

until the demons release


the bark from his lungs, go nose-

diving into the Navy’s bay,

where shiplap, burning


men spread with sea lions

and chrome sleep below.

How you will hope


for oxygen, his limbs to grow

from barrels, himself to hold

a wheeze-gasping thing


offer milk from his cannons, sweep

harm from their eyes like pollen

from a windshield.

Priscilla Wathington