FOR TONIGHT WE ATTEND A FERTILITY SEMINAR
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.
|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.