Mon. May 20th, 2024

By: Amnesia Grok

In the old days,

my sisters & I

(& there were many of us) (more than you could count on all your clubbed fingers & all your hammer toes) (tho the # varied some w/ the season & sometimes I believe there to have been a fake an interloper a cuckoo – or maybe 3 – amongst us at any given time)

my sisters & I,

we would wait

& we’d be very quiet

w/ our ears peeled for the clop-clop-clop

& for the call we’d come to know so well.

The man in the black carriage

coming on down the alley.


//Fetuses! Stillborns! Cast-offs!

$5 per! $5 per!\\

In the old days,

$5 was a lot of money, you see

& it would have been maybe a week & a ½

since any of us had ate a full meal

or been able to afford fresh porn

or Windex.

But even a cockroach can live for months just on the glue on the back of a postage stamp.

So we’d eat our glue

& we’d bide our time

& we’d wait for Amnio Baba to return

coming on down the alley.

In the old days.

//Fetuses! Stillborns! Cast-offs!\\

//Fetuses! Stillborns! Cast-offs!\\

In the old days,

my sisters & I

we’d squeal & we’d run,

our hearts all a’pitter patter,

dreaming of what we’d buy w/ that $5

or if it had been an exceptionally

hella strange quarter

maybe $10.

Selling to Amnio Baba

our latest abortions

maybe still twitching

or maybe already drifting

in formaldehyde.

It varied a lot.

Sometimes a sister

would get impatient

would get greedy,

jump the gun,

& try to pawn off an embryo

hardly more than a blastocyst, really.

But Amnio Baba was no fool.

Amnio Baba, he knew.

He’d been at this game for years by then.

& even his horse would turn up its nose at such fare.

& Amnio Baba would take a gander

@ this simple collection of cells

posing as a fetus

& then Amnio Baba would shout:

//What is it that you take me for, you thieving pre-teen fraud?

& how dare you run out here

& try to pass off this…

this zygotic monstrosity

as a fetus!!

Why, I have ½ a mind to skip this house entirely

next go-round!\\

//& then you & all your bloody sisters

can go & try

to sell off your oozing miscarriages

to some hackneyed carnie somewhere

@ maybe ½ the price & twice the bother.

I warn you, girl: I have done it before.\\

Then he’d spit

& give the errant (maybe) sister in question 50 cents for the embryo anyway.

But still…

That night we’d eat well

& go to sleep w/ our bellies full

of potato salad instead of babies

for a change.

In the old days,

it never occurred to us

while pocketing all those $5 bills

to ever even wonder

let alone to ask

Amnio Baba

where it was he rolled off to

in his black horse-drawn carriage

w/ all those withered abortions.

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2 thoughts on “Fetuses! Stillborns! Cast-Offs!”
  1. You’re reading my mind.

    With the Tiller murder a year old and no end in sight to the Greater Argument, your poem is timely.

    And poetic….

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