I Wish I Could Reverse the Universe 1
The damaged live
like royalty in a community
bonded by what isn’t there.
No left leg, no right leg, no hand.
They create music together.
The future is fiberglass, carbon fiber, foam,
bonded by flesh-colored epoxy.
Independence postponed for decades
– impossible to purchase with money –
has been purchased with tragedy.
Echinoderms can regenerate
missing limbs, arms, spines.
Some brittle stars and sea stars can reproduce
by breaking a ray or arm or by deliberately
splitting the body in half so that each
becomes a whole new animal.
1 The title of this poem is a direct quote from Ducarmel Similien. Similien’s four-year-old son Schneily had his leg amputated in the aftermath of the January 2010 Haitian earthquake.