Belly Dance

we brought an umbilical cord
to this knife fight, this
unrehearsable rumble

cut and sutured, blood mopped
cuddled and reassured, little man
welcome, everything’s cool

all the lifetimes sprout like this
like buds on the branches, their seeds
fall, and rise

make way for pleasure
and pain, good for the getting
and the giving too

find a groove, call it purpose
grow some thick skin
call it ambition

signals compete, it all plays out
knuckles whiten, the hair grays
the teeth yellow

and that belly button pocks us
like the record of a stray bullet
we never saw coming