A child is sprawled
outside 7-11
I try to walk by
but I can’t.
His face is mine
his lips mine
his nose mine
his sleep mine.

Tomorrow the child will be
my child
and as he pushes himself
out of me
I give my soul to him.

Today, he pays for my sins.
He lets me go to SM
and enjoy the cool air on my skin
while the dust and cockroaches
kiss his privates.

I wonder where
his father is
I wonder at the arms
that failed to hold him.

Tomorrow I will pray for him.
Tomorrow he will be my child.
Tomorrow I will shade him
from the world.

Today he must bear with me
must bear that I will look

For I am only him
am only a child sprawled
on a corner
and my tin can begs
and begs for love.


Ainne Frances dela Cruz's picture

Ayn, 26, is editor and chief slave of Paper Monster Press. Her flash fiction chapbook, tumbleweed, was published by chapbookpublishing.com. Her poetry chapbook, The Zero Narratives, will be published by Virgogray Press in 2012.

Last updated May 27, 2019