Driving home from Durham last Tuesday, I turned on my radio and heard the end of a riveting poem that seemed to describe many of my feelings about (not) having children.
It took a surprising amount of searching, but I found it on 1A. It’s surprising because this wasn’t in the 1A podcast, nor did a search of the website find it. I had to use Google to search the site for me, but I found it. It took some tricks to finally download the audio fie so that I could save it, but I succeeded. Then I extracted the section with the poem. (The whole interview is wonderful and should be listened to.)
The Reddit antinatalism channel has taken notice of this poem. I used their transcription to find the words. What’s written below is what I think I heard on 1A although the Reddit post has two additional lines.
Period. Already, at last I complete my sentence & name myself the end
of me & any me that might be mirror drunk or legacy-sick enough to ask
for seconds or thirds. I bind this body against the wish to multi
ply my selves into an army of shoulda beens, a swarm of still might-bes.
I am the axe resting against this tree. here where the sea has already laid
claim to the coast and the fault lines have begun to grin. I want to quit
while I’m still ahead of all the hurts that come next: someone with my blues
in their brain or my dark circling their eyes, desperate to know why
I would inflict a drowned future on them.