It’s like the tidal drag of some irregular
moon, alternately flooding and forsaking.
And when it comes, I thrust aside the dishes
that must be done and the novel
tugging at my hem; put off offers of sex
and sociability, and like a woman
possessed by the bulge of body and instinct,
I retreat, lie up, sweat and groan, deliver.
In the end, it takes me over, bears itself
not by me but through me, leaving
the question I’d like to bury
with the afterbirth:
Does human life really matter?
Or are people just the way that poems
have found to reproduce their kind?
— published in Writer’s Digest in 1987 – my second publication