Bubble Gum Cigar

A bubble gum cigar left on my desk today.

Taunting me; baby-pink with bold letters:

It’s a girl.

II

I never understood cigars as celebration for new life;

The men with their smug grins, patting each other on the back

As if they were responsible for anything other than spitting their seed into a womb.

As if they have control over things like babies dying or mothers grieving

The pride of predictability reeling to snatch up their hopes and dreams

for their unborn carbon-copy.

III

It’s a girl.

Her Kermit-legs flopping from the sugar of Sunny Delight

Kicking her way into our hearts; she is no longer a blob on a screen.

I am unable to possess the self-control to keep it a surprise.

It’s a daughter.

Later that day, I accidentally refer to the ultrasound pictures as “her”

And my family bursts into laughs and exclamations of joy

All of us mapping the future for this long-awaited miracle.

IV

You never understand the life you willed for someone

Until that life is taken.

Who was I to have plans from the start?

Who am I to assume the better in this worse world?

V

Baby pink balloons

kissing the sky where you rest.

I was never able to be showered with celebration for your arrival

VI

I chew up the bubble gum;

it tastes like powder and envy

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