Letter to my unborn child

If I had you, my baby, when I was sixteen
I wouldn’t have raised you to be the sharp point of kindness
in the face of adversity I know to use now
I would’ve raised you to be a petulant slob

I wouldn’t have sheathed you in silken yellows and greens and reds
colors I have now come to associate with spring, along with cherry blossoms
you would’ve gotten freak snowstorms which arent really so freakish
considering how often they happen in the Marches of New England
and the shamrock shakes from McDonald’s to represent the season

you wouldn’t have even had family, except for maybe
some “uncles” and “aunts” from my NA meetings
but you would have had me

who, years after you were terminated
held in both hands, as was the custom, a shot glass
for the mayor of that foreign city I came to live in
to pour me a drink of rice wine which was so common, and so like milk
that maybe I would’ve taught you the word for it, makgeolli

yes, it was makgeolli, my darling
and if I had you when I was sixteen
I would never have drank a drop of it
but I didn’t. So now there are veils
like this one between where I lived and you didn’t

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