By Findlay Milne (He/Him)

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Image by braetschit

By Findlay Milne

A baby's booties at the bottom of a box
with ‘what to expect’ and his wool polka dot socks
by the tiny nuts and bolts of his unbuilt cot
that're weighing down tissues full of bright green snot.

Its lid folded over labelled with thick black pen:
BABY – to never have to read his name again;
It won't ever be on the present list at school
or a teen girl's diary calling it cruel.

There'll be no draft for BABY. It won't choose college
over Vietnam, and its art won't grace the fridge
like BABY 2 or BABY 3 – but once a year
its mother will sit by its boots and shed a tear.