content warnings: miscarriage or abortion
carrying, for weeks
i eat lemon custard
until citrus chars the roof of my mouth,
bathe bread in pickle juice,
shortcakes line the counter.
still, i crave these things.
sometimes fizz water
or hot dough
becoming a bandage
around fat little bodies of cheese.
family who are not family
use my body as a worry doll,
looking for signs of the baby.
she’s there and not there,
leans against walls of flesh
that separate mother and daughter—
her bedroom door already shut.
still, i go to work at the library,
call my mother, we argue.
paint candy cane red nails for the holidays,
carrying the baby til the day is done.
awake after deep-sea sleep
together we bow-ride another day—
the killer whale and her calf
for fourteen days we both keep swimming.