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Birth Canal - Marc Darnell


He sees a tiny crack of light.

His head detects an undertow

and hears a man he doesn't know,

a woman screaming for her life.

He'll poke his head and then decide

if he should venture from the womb,

for here it's too much like a tomb--

to never breathe is suicide.

Thirty hours to lift his eyes

he's slow to welcome slits of sight.

Mother's heart and will too light,

her death is only slight surprise.


Now a man in brutal light

he feels another undertow

from love for men (they never know).

His father says come live my life,

but he forbids his son decide

love's direction from the womb,

pointing to an early tomb--

a partial heart is suicide.

Thirty years he's dried his eyes

and cannot live his father's sight.

Life a weight he now wants light,

his dying comes as no surprise.


Marc Darnell is a custodian and online tutor in Omaha NE, and has also been a phlebotomist, hotel supervisor, busboy, editorial assistant, farmhand, devout recluse, and incurable brooder. He received his MFA from the University of Iowa, and has published poems in The Lyric, Rue Scribe, Verse, Skidrow Penthouse, Shot Glass Journal, The HyperTexts, Candelabrum, The Road Not Taken, Aries, Ship of Fools, Open Minds Quarterly, The Fib Review, Verse-Virtual, Blue Unicorn, Ragazine, The Literary Nest, The Pangolin Review, and elsewhere.

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