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At five thirty a baby boy, washed of blood
coddled in cotton, the soft pink hope
of a mother set to desert him for death.
but not now, not in the first breath,
not in this salt scented air
inhaled by raw lungs, expelled in screams,
louder than the flash gulls
and the cries of the crab sellers.
there, there, be calm, kuma shwari
be calm in the bay by the tamed waters
nuzzling the coral sand,
nibbling the breast of the plump earth;
be calm as the sun goes down to the first night
on a world still waiting for meaning.
see now, the moon rises,
the first gift of this and every night
drawing the restless sea;
exposed in the white light the oysters shine;
in some are hidden
pearls of beauty and distress.
your hope is my hope; your pain, my pain