Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2016  Vol. 15 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Mermaid Who Wants to Play House Finds Only Wrecked Ships to Live In

I could never decide between Pegasus or Unicorn
delicate parts snapping off My Little Ponies,
wings gone soggy in the tub.

In your bathroom, I see the ovulation stick
tucked into the tissue box,
the way you might hide an egg on Easter.

I learn from mommy blogs
I am a POAS addict,
pissing on sticks
twice a month
until I turn up two lines instead of one.

When I have the child you couldn’t, you stop calling for brunch
but I can’t mimosa anyway.

I am supposed to feel sorry for you
and for the one who had the abortion
then changed her mind
three years later, after the would-be father left
and she had nothing but a sweater with his university’s name
fading across the chest.

I dreamt I saw your vagina, your skirt flung up like an umbrella
in wind. You topple backward onto the floor
laughing so hard you don’t even bother to tug it down
over your thighs,
rashy inside from so much trying.

This is my novena to your unkempt womb.
EHO rental. Squatters welcome.

I didn’t understand that want, that selfish pull until I saw it there
the white stick that will never yield pink or blue
while inside my daughter kicked
and fisted restless fits against my bones.

Did you know that when my daughter wants to nurse
and I’m not home, my husband
puts the baby’s mouth on his nose?

That’s my girl,
beating her face against the underside of a boat
gumming for air and for milk and getting nothing.  

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