The baby lies on the delivery slab, moments old.
White vernix paste marbles the infant's skin.
The stuff smells sweet, like holiday shortbread,
a trick up the wild sleeve of nature
to encourage mothers to lick their newborns clean.
But this mother has left the building.
She pushed the baby out without passion,
releasing it into the void of abandonment,
worth no more to her than the toileted regurgitation
of a drunken binge.
She would flush it, if she could.
Push the handle and watch a season of derision
swirl away and disappear.
People walk by like the baby is already dead.
The silence is oppressive.
Even the child knows better than to fuss.
It watches the funereal procession
of powerless people who honestly don't give a shit
waddle by with their eyes averted,
thinking of their thing, the big thing,
the thing that will make their pockets fat
as the meconium pooling in their cranial cavities
strangles their reduced capacity for love
and their long-lost ability to believe.
In the face of such harrowing neglect
the baby pisses on itself and dies,
final hubris lost on those who clean up the mess.