I woke. A tiny knot of skin on a silver table
Set in the birth-theater, blinking in the glare
Of electric lights and a strange arranged
Passel of faces: huge as gods in their council.
I was the actor who forgets his lines and enters
On stage suddenly wanting to say, I am.
I was almost all eye: they weighed me down,
Two lump-big brown-sugar bags in a face
Which did not yet know struggle, burden;
How the look of newborns unnerves. Then
They wrapped me in pale yellow like a new sun
Still too small to throw up into the sky.
It was midnight when they injected me
With a plague; tamed, faded as imperialism, pox
Had once put its palm-leaf hand over a quarter of Earth
Saying, these. Now it was contracted to a drop:
And in the morning I knew both death and life.
Lapped in my nimbus of old gold light, my
Huge lashes drooped over my deepened eyes, like
Ostrich-feather shades over twin crown princes: wet heads
Sleek and doomed as the black soul of an open poppy.