blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



How to Deliver a Baby in a Taxicab

(Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook)

Houdini of rescues, you're over-trained for the apocalypse.
If you wanted you could steal a car, sniff out a bomb,

conquer an inferno for the child still lost.
Sirens glare in every language in your dreams.

You wake from a blitzkrieg of killer bees,
suddenly aware of what to do if the feet come first.

Breech birth? An extra towel or two.
Otherwise, backwards babies—taxicab or tornado—

unfold as easily as origami swans.
Perhaps today, Tarzan, you'll wrestle the alligator

terrorizing City Park. Blade between your teeth,
you'll gasp and dive, and bystanders will suspect

it's your blood spreading an inkblot tide beneath the surface
of the lagoon until you rise triumphant, and thump your chest.

But what if nothing happens? No quicksand,
cougars, acts of God. That circus clown is no assassin.

The alligator won't fight back.
In fact, the day's worst pestilence is rain

and would-be murderers wander the streets
without thinking of the knives hidden in their boots.  

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