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May 19, 1991

Today I hate that I was born.

Today is eternal.

I slide down the devil's throat

like a miserable, stinking sardine.

Perhaps tomorrow I will

cut my way out

with a quick slash of hope

emerging whole

only to be swallowed again.

How to Get a Baby by JUDITH ORTIZ COFER

Go to the sea

the morning after a rainstorm,


fresh from your man's arms--

the waiwaia are drawn

to love-smell.

They are tiny luminous fish

and blind. You must call

the soul of your child

in the name of your ancestors;

Come to me, little fish, come to Tamala, Tudava, come to me. Sit in shallow water

up to your waist until the tide

pulls away from you like an exhausted lover.

You will by then

be carrying new life.

Make love that night,

and every night,

to let the little one

who chooses you know

she is one with your joy.

From "Puerto Rican Writers at Home in the U.S.A. " (Open Hand Publishing, distributed by the Talman Co.: $31.95 cloth, $19.95 paper). 1991 Faythe Turner (editor).

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