Livid with this life, she is awake,
two years old and too much to be
contained in bed and dreams.
Quick text of change, the psych book says
she won’t remember any of it —
no matter how idyllic, it’s too traumatic:
the maturation process is utter.
Her fierce cognition mercifully lost,
it is said, to save her from herself.
The public broadcast at two a.m.
is a bleak nature program on oysters.
They, silently kvetching, pried for pearls,
are engineered for profit and pleasure.
They don’t have much personality, these mollusks.
It is hard to feel compassion for them.
They have no keen look
in the eye, or a howl of any kind.
They seem intelligent as cabbages only less
green and faceted. But look:
such small moons of perfect irritation.
No one has ever solved colic.
It’s odd there’s a word for it —
a null valve, a goose egg.
In infants we see pain and say gas,
to say something,
as if we could know rapid-fire synapses,
screaming for its own sake, their minds
at all, much less, in our grown guts.
Trailing off over a vista of glistening South Sea,
the filmmaker lets us believe that somehow,
they don’t mind much, it’s their calling.
She dozes in the undulant light of the credits.
Sacked out mouth agape,
a sliver of molar winks in the deep
and I peer in with ravenous attention,
a sponge on the serene reef of her sleep,
relieved, hushed, bewildered.