And the body lay born, beside the hacked off head.
—Ted Hughes

It’s been a good day, I say, on 1st Ave., Little Haiti.
The goat was born easily and the moon
is wider than the widest high-rise
on the 41st street beach where Orthodox
Jewish women power walk in covered
hair and long black sleeves and skirts.
The youngest child shrieks at the goat
in more Kréyol than English,
and the eldest grabs my camera
insists on taking picture after
picture until he gets the right one.
In the end it’s blurry and I look happy
next to the pigs sleeping in the boat
with its hull torn out. But we’ve made very little progress.
Or progress is a misnomer. Few of the neighbours
have doors and not because they have a different
definition of public and private.
I look to the placenta in the dust
and the bottle flies covering it.
Is there something to it? Clean and unclean.
The mother was supposed to eat it. The cord hangs
from the baby’s gut, covered in its very first shit.
We all have to learn to shit neatly and not roll around in it
after. Does this thought obscure the freshness
of the moment? Little David wants to know the date,
October 4th, and he sings Happy Birthday.
The people missing limbs who line the streets here aren’t fresh,
but they are tidily placed in people’s memories
of the Papa Doc days. They aren’t neat, but their stumps
end neatly. Someone shat on them
and walked away. Didn’t roll around after.