My wife gives birth to Charles Bukowski.
Faceplanted on a blanket during tummytime,
neckless Hank can barely lift his head
away from the puddle of upchucked milk.
At my wife’s breast, his slicked back scalp,
his sweaty armpits, midnights crying,
“You goddam whore!” for her breast that used
to belong to me, the timid husband.

For nine months, Charles Bukowski lurked
inside her. He is out now, he is helpless: No street
smarts. I try not to drop him on his head
only dimly aware of the great looming ravaged
edifice of the man to come, the slouched mountain
shadow from which I would peel myself.


Cameron Morse is Senior Reviews editor at Harbor Review and the author of eight collections of poetry. His first collection, Fall Risk, won Glass Lyre Press’s 2018 Best Book Award. His latest is The Thing Is (Briar Creek Press, 2021). He holds an MFA from the University of Kansas City-Missouri and lives in Independence, Missouri, with his wife Lili and (soon, three) children. For more information, check out his Facebook page or website.