These begging gypsies drug their babies
better to carry them all day.
Lolling doll heads cradled to withered sunken chest
milkless breast weeping black tar
on dirty scarves worn to cover
cigarette burns, track marks, razor scars.
Insertion points to punish and pleasure
women sold into bondage.
Needle stigmata on tiny hands
wet with vodka shots and whiskey sweats
of this parading nightmare
as they walk through subways cars,
down alleys holding scribbled signs
made by pushers and pimps.
Shackled to that promissory fix
in exchange for the beggars cup.
Interchangeable parts: the women and babies.
Paired up and pushed out to saunter
with kabuki masks of horror.
Strike pity in the hearts of pedestrians,
street vendors, cops, passengers.
Even the clouds shower them in tears
knowing man’s carnal machination
snare unwanted newborns and prostitutes
into a charity masquerade.
These babies want for no food now,
only the syringe soothes their noddings
and placid drools. Their uncrying eyes shut
to the blinding light of day.
they only see at night now,
only the moon is known to
their burning bodies.
When they are killed it’s by overdose,
wanting all day sleep and no profit impediments
the men shoot them full of heroin
until they stop thrashing about
and become that perfect little beggar doll.
Their seizures wake the women,
writhing in the tied-cloth shoulder cradles
Little fist-shaped hearts tear tissue,
rupturing tender muscles
into shocked contortions.
And out comes the bloodshits.
And out comes foaming fermented vomit
gurgling cries, lightning stabs their eyes
flung back eyelids reveal silver and purple iris
blinking one last time.
And out comes that gapsing exhale,
when lungs empty the ethereal into wind
Some times the women carry the dead babies
for the rest of the day as props.
snaking through the Port Authority,
running down your back, poking out your eyes
carrying the swollen stones that used to have names
but will now be churned back into
the nameless pity that creeps like well water
into eyes of Gods.