Read Poem: WHY I WORRY ABOUT MY UNBORN CHILD, by Roxana Cazan

Because the Oklahoma sky also stretches
Stippled with wind-bruised stars.

Because a Pakistani-American doctor came in
shuffling paperwork and ultrasounds.

Because the ocean dipped
as bodies were being pulled out of water.

Because I wake to feel you squirming,
like a fish drifting in the ocean of my body.

Because I learn of you every day, son,
whom I know nothing about,

while the woman across the street loses hers
to border detention, now coated in forged half-light.

Because of these elections and the last ones,
and the ones in which I wasn’t allowed to vote.

Because your mother is an immigrant
Who saw the iron curtain fall with a bang,

and your father, another immigrant, cannot fit
the word “steak” in his mouth without an accent.

Because it’s still unclear whether you’ll wear
their history of bones caving in,

as if the man you will likely become
can apostrophe the pain of home-county

instead of passing for someone who can
quietly swim in, practice folding this country’s damp

bed sheet like someone who understands,
standing somewhere under a sky stippled with bruised stars.