I am spatched flat, / leeched and rasped / by the shape life now / will never take.
She is a wisp / of skin over hollow bones, / a ribcage like harp strings / holding her wild-beating heart, / scapulae jutting like vestigial wings, / fingers and toes long as claws / she still doesn’t quite fit.
Elaine Fowler Palencia
But listen to me, going on. / It’s just that / the less you understand, / the more I want to tell you, / before you’re all gone.
Teach her what to do when she loses you. / Don’t say Heaven. You don’t believe it, / neither will she. Say anything but sleep.
You believe in fairies / and leprechauns. / You believe birds / can fly to space.
I can’t recall / How to breathe / But you don’t notice / Grab my sleeve and tug / Ready to go back up the hill.
And now, his eyes drooping like commas / he settles a sentence / lies down in a pronoun / the O of a cradle / the space bar of nap.
Juliette De Soto
She has psoriasis; he has mites. / Are you ready to do what I did? / Otherwise, otherwise, otherwise.
[B]ut you don’t know / whether to count the little phantom / girl still galloping around / under your skin.
I need to see only her in my own life, / to understand her, what it was like to be a woman terrified always.
We publish poetry that has some element of the unexpected–whether it’s the language, the imagery, or the emotion—yet feels honest. Do you have a poem that acknowledges the intensity of motherhood? Read more about submitting your work here.