Full in the fat wallow of me,
Even to the marrow—
Blood plumping along in a red swell
Blushing my most unabashed
Skinpatches: nosetip, earlobe, wristshallow. O
Is a crush of too-muchness,
A malady of my baffled self awash.
Finally the days, will I find
My bones I lost, will my sharps and edges
Hedge this fleshy
Habit I’ve made of excess?
Already my heartracing startles
Twitches, my dinner hiccups
Another’s diaphragm. Already and almost
I swear I feel
The protein creep of me, cell
By splitting cell, into another’s life.
Sorrows not for the heart-close one
I’ll lose from me at my delivery
But for my own
Soul overboiling, unbound, bound
To a stranger’s groans, undone by his hurts
To the third and fourth
Generations. What I’m birthing is my own
Never again mere. Never again my own.
Copyright © 2015 by Kimberly Johnson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 26, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.