Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

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I leave the doctor's office,
blood in my underwear.
Quietly, you are over.
In the elevator,

I think about that time
I didn't learn to swim:
emerging from the lake chin-first.
Craving scale and scope more

than I craved air. I wanted
Rand McNally to the left
of my periphery: one inch
equals one mile. Beach defined

by the key of fingernails—lengths
bridging it to my coordinates.
But I bobbed in grid-less nothing,
water and sky careening

like two rolls of aluminum foil
spooling out, and then
into, each other. Straight tamped-
down ending. No border at all.

In the hospital parking lot,
I linger near the ambulances
lurching toward announced tragedies.
Their siren lights first appear

larger than a breadbox. One block
later, they're apple-sized,
at the tree line they fold to the breadth
of a loon's single pupil

before receding completely.
I know again what I knew
before: grief is not deep.
Grief is all surface.

Marissa Coon Rose‘s work is forthcoming in Riggwelter Press and Apricity. She has also previously appeared with Likely Red Press, Tuck Magazine, Tangerine Magazine, Raleigh Review, and Steel Toe Review, among others. In 2016, she was a finalist for Poet Laureate of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 and was selected as the representative poet for her county in the collection, Mapping the Muse: A Bicentennial Look at Indiana Poetry.

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