My first language, water, was driven
from me by steadfast threats of sulfur.
Guilt stares at me from my ghost, yellow
holes in the head, hands, feet.
The hermitess on the river’s cleft lip
in her blue gown clean with mud
was hired as a beggar
and licensed to pray.
The long-separated souls of the mountain
lilies sing an antiphonal dirge for their bygone
petals. Faceless, the ghost rushes back
between my legs.
What People Say to Me When My Stomach Shrinks
It’s for the best—the baby would be taken away because you have DID.
Why did you believe you could continue to dance? Did you also leap?
You must not be quite strong enough. Maybe your vagina is weak.
This is the consequence of using birth control before. Maybe God
doesn’t want you to be a parent. Everything happens for a reason:
maybe this is your punishment; maybe it is a trial. It is irresponsible
of you to choose not to eat other creatures when your babies needed
your meat; life is about more than just you, you know. It was God’s will.