Forget pearls, lace-edged kerchiefs, roomy pleats— this is my most matronly adornment: stitches purling up the middle of me to shut my seam, the one that jagged gaped upon my fecund, unspeakable dark, my indecorum needled together with torquemadan efficiency. But O! the dream of the dropped stitch! the loophole through which that unruly within might thread, catch with a small snag, pull the fray, unknit the knots unnoticed, and undoily me. Don't lock up the parlor yet; such pleasure in unraveling, I may take up the sharps and darn myself to ladylike again.
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.