damned girls


our mothers are given the hospital beds farthest from the other patients
they say the nurses can tell,
can figure out the damned girls from how the stomach molds around our damned bodies
the indent we make around the belly button
yes, we are life-sucking before we are life
yes, our first words are short and we never change
we give the things we love nicknames so we can catch them in our mouths at the speed of light,
feel them bash against our teeth before they ooze from the edges of our grins
damned girls are obsessed with light and the way it returns
here: i was conceived out of wedlock and six years later the devil took me in her mouth
listen: she couldn’t swallow
i dug my nails into her tongue and didn’t let go until she screamed
if you asked her how it went she’d say i lived in her stomach for ten years
and maybe that’s true
maybe i split her dark open from top to bottom
and was, like morning,
born again

About the Author
Ani Bachan is a Toronto-based writer who’s had work previously published in Inlandia’s online literary journal and the clementine zine.