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When the boy comes inside

with blood on his ripe hands

and a quiver of pointed explanations

on his back, I’m chopping yellow onions.


When he says it’s a doe, that she lies

on the edge of the wood, and that he knows

she was pregnant, my skin tightens.

The scar on my belly, that battered, barbwire grin

that opened like a window for him, twitches

for the dying mother and the calf like a love note in her womb.


When he hangs his knife on his belt

and heads toward the wood, I boil water, crush garlic.

I remember when the doctor pulled him, screaming,

from my belly. I remember the howl in my womb

as he sewed me shut. I remember my first meal

as a mother. Nothing could satisfy.

I salt the vegetables. Crush the mint.


Boxcar Poetry Review, Summer 2012