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Story Publication logo April 6, 2021

Baby Sister Survives Ebola. . . / & Dies in Childbirth

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Author:
Two doctors wearing protective gear, taken from the cover of If God Is a Virus by Seema Yasmin
English

Based on original reporting from West Africa and the United States, and the poet’s experiences as a...

Baby Sister Survives Ebola . . .

Before your wedding day.
Before your children’s faces
greased in nut butter, hot
mouths coated with pink
syrups, released guffaws like
baby sparrows into the after
-noon sky.

After two body bags bearing your last
name were sealed betraying weary zippers,

before your big sister’s membranes
burst and your own belly swelled again and again and again.
Before your survivor money—mildewed
dollar notes were good for nothing:
not potatoes,
not ambulances.

You emerged from between tented white sheets.
Withered, guilty, new.

& Dies in Childbirth

A crown.
A baby girl.
A baby girl crowning.

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