The poem "The Five Stages of Drowning" done by Patricia Smith illustrated for Buzzfeed.
There is no drunk like the drunk of milk sleep. A drizzled white floods the body and weighs down everywhere we think we know about awake. Zara’s new clockwork staggers with it while daddy, grizzle and wild-eye, lobs her like trash over the rusting rail. Inside the sack, the wriggling child cannot translate fly, plummet, descend. She doesn’t realize the hard questions she poses for pigeons or how, so dull and stupid with dairy, she is all the fall the sky can language.
Babies accept what they are given. They never question the morning’s flood of sun, a kitchen’s blaring stink, or the wide hovering faces of fathers. After a swollen breeze pries her eyes open in the few seconds it takes for the fevered discarding of daughter, baby doesn’t ask the sun, needling light into the sack, to offer rule or direction. Zara Malani-Lin Abdur-Raheem, little not-bird, has been jettisoned, ditched, unloaded.
Her snared arms can find no rhyme for wing. The river’s glittering trash smacks her blunt, but not before her tiny O fails its role as mouth, not before language breaks its promise to wait for her. If Zara can conjure no word for word, can find no way to bellow up, daddy, up as she tumbles, stuffed inside a downdowndown reeking so oddly of him, how would she voice panic born of the wind’s quick fist? Slapped awake, she breathes in the close cloth and feels the thud of her own drunken heart. The startled river opens, then closes over her, the way a new mother would.