Yes, we did
ask to be born.

Not all of us, of course,
only the first few.

They must have bought in
to this round robin

the gasp,

the gnawing hunger,
then the actual gnawing.

Maybe they did it
the way we’d put on

a corset or toe shoes
one night

and feel fabulous.

To be able to repeat themselves
must have seemed

like such a thrill
at first.

But who were they
if not that trick—

that breathless