It was the umbilical cord.  Benjamin Threnody was gripping it when he was born a few seconds after Richard.  Richard born with it around his neck.  Marie Toussaint knowing, but able to do nothing because she knew.  She just waiting as well.  Maybe just waiting for the father to arrive.  For David to arrive after his business in New Orleans.  Richard born alive, but the lack of oxygen in those few moments of waiting what killed him—his brother killing him.

And it was then at that time Papa Frenchie was waiting as well.  The twins born in the middle of the night, just after 3am.  Frenchie in a jail cell.  Not sleeping.  Not dreaming.  Waiting on his arraignment.  His bail to be set.  The infirmary where he was first sent doing what it could do—Frenchie badly beaten, his right eye swelled shut.  A permanent loss of vision incurred.  Frenchie would never see out of that eye again.  And as he sat in that jail cell, bruised and bandaged, the injuries to his head inflicted by his own sons, sons from his second marriage, the only one dreaming, the only one asleep—Bridgette—Bethany in labor pains, her parents awake and waiting outside the door, Marie Toussaint pouring rum on bloody rags, spitting it on her hands, speaking an indecipherable French in the Haitian dialect of her origins, and David Threnody taking a ride, another ride through the night after receiving word in New Orleans, perhaps even crossing the Sabine River as the clock turned three, his sons being born, one already a killer, beneath the water of that river, that bridge David Threnody crossed, the body of Pete Southhouse, entombed by rocks and chains, David crossing that bridge in the other direction, the opposite direction which led Bethany’s first lover, Denny, to disappear…  The only one asleep was Bridgette, an old woman now, who perhaps dreamed of that night when she and her son from her second marriage buried that body, remembering what she saw being born and dying in the union of eyes between Bethany and David that fateful night in the 9th Ward after a drug deal gone bad.  The night Popovitch died and Johnny Tribout’s music with David ended.  Perhaps she dreamed of looking out that window the day Bethany was born.  She saw that rooster again, crowing atop a cow’s back, and when she woke up she woke up to hear the news.  The news of twins being born and word that her first husband, that horny old devil who’d knocked her up three times, had been beaten that night and incarcerated…

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