Two poems by Christy Prahl

Updated: Apr 3


Birthright


The mechanics of this body

have never made a baby.


They may have once held the start of a baby,

a clot expelled one morning that painted

a rare orchid in my underwear.


(The ovaries of the orchid hide behind the flowers.

They may bloom sixteen weeks awaiting pollinator bees.

Sixteen weeks is a long time to be beautiful).


I feel your uninvited worry under the skin.

I will shrivel like winter morning glories with no one

to toast a memory of me.


But I long for no soft porridge

in the crook of my elbows.

A baby’s head smells to me not of nostalgia

but of Wednesday’s curdled milk.


(Elliot Foley saw a spot of blood on my skirt

and called me Bloody Mary the next seven years)


Please, everyone else, pass this newborn around

as I’ve just discovered a perfectly good dog that needs lifting.


A dachshund will reliably fall asleep in my arms,

but even a barely sentient baby can decode a woman’s

fear of not supporting the neck.