Content

Issue 14
Ovulation and Small Towns

If I convince you it is time and we make ourselves
a daughter,
will she grow from flesh dough
into a tall woman? —
Will she feel like me and like my mother, and mother’s mother
slightly smothered by maternal nexus?
Will she feel too often a low
nagging sadness, or live
like my mother, from meal to meal
feeding the blue inscrutable hollow—
and measure in shame
the wide places of her body?
If I convince you it is time and we make ourselves
a son,
will he grow from flesh dough
into a tall man?—
Will he feel like you
with restless brilliance,
and an all too often curmudgeonly
affiliation with the world? —
Will he feel a deep reflexive
sense of not being good enough
and desire, like his father’s father, the safety
of the kitchen table
with its easy square shape, bread
and butter in its coffin?
If I convince you it is time
and we make ourselves a son or daughter
will they know their father’s mother
ran away from home in search of kindness
and found it in their father’s father?
Will they know
their mother’s father shaved
his young raw face
the morning of his mother’s funeral
under the desert sun—
no one came—and spoke to the mound of dirt:
you will never hurt me again.
If I convince you it is time
and you ease your way inside me
and we move and disappear, ignite and reappear
will we make a healthy baby?
On our way home from up-country
every small town was where we lived our entire lives;
we lived in towns named Sussex, Sparta
Cuddebackville, and Hamburg—
we were elated in pretending—
the sky was enormous, all promise
and expectation. Then, because all the small roads
led, like veins, to the super highway
we could see the distant city
gray and shimmering against the bleached
panorama. It was more or less
a descent, lush emerald trees on both sides.
For a second, it seemed the world
would quickly inhale us.