“The Unconscious” by Dennis Saleh

Expect the swollen gorge behind everything.
Expect taking in your hands
at least one of your parents
torn open to reveal what is inside.
Expect your conception, the wall you tear away from,
the dark burst ending nothing.
Plan loss. Plan having no room.
Plan slipping to your knees and fear
welling around your knees rising.
Now find the names for everything.
Now talk at last.
Say, “Choking,” say you are choking,
infancy is choking, childhood is choking,
your body is the throat your blood rushes to
flow from, your body stutters,
now it will never be over.
Realize the rest of your life will be like rain
falling far above you.
Realize Jesus warned you,
realize you’re being lied to,
that at any moment someone will bend to you
and whisper, “I was here you who am I.”

Dennis Saleh, “The Unconscious,” Poetry (June 1970).