H e a r t S o n s & H e a r t D a u g h t e r s of A l l e n G i n s b e r g
N a p a l m H e a l t h S p a : R e p o r t 2 0 1 4 : A r c h i v e s E d i t i o n
For All a Baby Knows
If a baby doesn’t know it has a Mother till it’s born,
what do we not know we have
till after we die?
If a baby doesn’t know it’s inside its Mother
what are we inside of
we don’t know we’re inside of?
A baby in the womb doesn’t know it’s in the womb,
Doesn’t know it’s inside anything,
Has no idea there’s anything outside
the amniotic ocean it floats in,
No idea it’s surrounded by a living being
that has an outside,
A living being breathing, walking, talking, touching,
seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting,
thinking, sleeping, dreaming, loving,
A baby in the womb has no idea
its Mother loves cool September breezes
floating through the twilight window
with cricket dreamtime energy.
And a baby in utero doesn’t know
there’s an outside world
of light and objects
and other pregnant Mothers
with babies inside them not knowing
and human society and history and
geography, geology, astronomy,
zoology, botany, ecology
or an affectionate puppy
that sleeps next to the Mother.
What about us? What’s outside us we don’t know about?
For all a baby knows what it’s in
extends outward forever
the way deep sea fish
who never come to the surface
or swim to the Ocean floor
never know there’s an Ocean floor under them
or Ocean surface above them with sky above it
and think the Sea goes on in every direction forever?
If a dog can hear a baby sucking its thumb in the womb
and the baby has no idea dogs exist or ears exist,
What do we have no idea of that exists,
that hears our most intimate sounds?
What do we have that we have no idea of
that nurses our just-born souls after death
with invisible milk
from its invisible sweet-smelling breasts?
[Originally published in NHS 2002, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs02/antler.html.]