The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Our Debatable Bodies by Marisa Crane


I am terrified of having a child. There,
I said it. Is the fear gone yet? Has it grown
twinkle toes & danced off stage? You seem
so confident, so steady. I want to hold
on to you as I rock to & fro. Don’t be alarmed
if I vomit over the side railing. Yesterday
I set up my new record player & cried when I broke
a piece of it off. Of course, my tears
weren’t for the plastic. If I can’t assemble this shit,
how will I ever keep a human alive? I choked.
You wrapped me in your arms, but still I felt cold.
I am made of impractical atoms. They buzz about clumsily,
like June Bugs. My blood spills here & everywhere.
Our child will soon inherit the mess I made. Babe,
a confession disguised as an observation: post-baby our dynamic
will change. You will have less time for me—
of that I am certain. I have a nasty habit of measuring life
by the losses. There will be times in which
you say I love you & I will mistakenly
think you are talking to me. I will mourn
the sentiments that are not mine to keep.
This morning: You wandered into the kitchen,
eyes full of blue light. You looked at me
as if I’d spent all night building a tower to the sky—
absolutely dazzled. I worry I will become
less remarkable around the baby. A face you’ve grown
used to. God, I hate that phrase. It makes me want to
dig my own grave & sneak naps when you
aren’t looking, until I am more asleep than awake,
until I am so close to death that I hold myself a wake.
Once you give birth, your precious eyes will shoot
in a new direction. How pathetic I am to act
as if there is only room for one
cannon ball in your arsenal.

This selection comes from Our Debatable Bodies, available from Animal Heart Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Shannon Wolf.

Marisa Crane is a queer, nonbinary writer whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in TriQuarterly Review, Catapult, The Florida Review, F(r)iction, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. A graduate of Tin House’s 2020 Winter & Summer Workshops, she is the author of the poetry chapbook, Our Debatable Bodies (Animal Heart Press 2019), and she serves as a prose reader for The Adroit Journal. Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, she currently lives in San Diego with her wife and baby.

Shannon Wolf is a British writer and teacher, living in Louisiana. She is currently a joint MA-MFA candidate in Poetry at McNeese State University. She is the Non-Fiction Editor of The McNeese Review, and Social Media Intern for Sundress Publications. She also holds an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University. Her poetry, short fiction, and non-fiction (which can also be found under the name Shannon Bushby) have appeared in The Forge and Great Weather for Media, among others. You can find her on social media @helloshanwolf.


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