When my OB/GYN Said He Didn't Understand Poetry
I worried because my body
is a more complex text.
When he feels the shape
of my uterus, he may not
think pear-shaped yet
an apricot in size, hollow
butternut squash, lightbulb.
He may not consider it a bowl
for a daughter developing inside
with eggs for her daughters,
a set like Grandma’s Tupperware
poised to seal away meals,
or nested like Russian dolls,
copies waiting to be twisted off,
revealed. My doctor speaks
the body’s language: uterus
tilted toward spine could
snagged on the pelvic bone.
Almond-shaped ovaries pocked
like plum pits—if swollen
with movable lumps—
could be dermoid, endometrioma,
or chocolate cysts. Or nothing
to worry about. He questions
structure, unpuzzles chromosomes,
scrutinizes tensions between
biopsies and blood work, and reads
all this alongside testimony
and history because my flesh,
like a poem, carries mystery:
it produced one child complete
But jettisoned the next four.
My doctor’s glossing of my uterine
purse—whether it will fill and stay full
or remain empty—eludes his science.
But when I build a nest of words,
paradox and ambiguity kiss each time,
offspring running down the page.
Reprinted from Bluewords Greening (Terrapin Books, 2016). Copyright © 2016 by Christine-Stewart Nuñez. Used with permission of the author. All rights reserved.