Seven cups.

Seven cups.

She, plied with black viscous coffee

And full of crumbling day-old donuts,

Remarkably intoxicated by all manner of words-

Top shelf, pulp, even bathroom stall graffiti-

Finally conceives.

And then, she must deliver.

Plump and wriggling, some come quickly. 

Others are breach. 

The darlings stand first, wobble, then prance. 

Others are more reserved and crawl. 

These will grow to love tailored suits and pocket squares perhaps,

While the darlings have already found the boas and the baubles.

Now, she, proud mother of this brood, must take them out,

Parade them around, introduce them to scrutiny. 

And is she judged.

Publicly.

From behind spectacles, down the slopes of noses,

With sideways glances replete with envy.

Then she folds them in and takes them home

Where she sits with tea knowing

All of them cannot survive. 

She, proud mother, must choose which ones to neglect, 

To starve of attention, crumple and forget. 

And then, she will sharpen her instrument.

The killing, not nearly as beautiful as the birth. 

- Daphne Jenkins