The Night I Got Pregnant
the pond was freezing
over, moaning, shifting
finding its icy rhythm. The fish and salamanders were holed up
in their winter homes.
My tiny egg was swimming down my fallopian tube.
above me to adjust his center
of gravity. There was hair on his chest. I drew my knees
up, traced a planet on his back. For dinner
we’d eaten eggplant soaked in oil. I could hear the ice shuddering
and was sure the loons had gone on
to warmer waters.
I wasn’t being careful
because I wanted to feel the animal
without plastic. His penis
seemed to me a feather
or a meal I wanted
to devour. Silly or sacred floating there I slid it in
where I could feel the ridge and then
on my cervix. He liked it, too,
my carelessness, my jaw free of clamping,
but even then I knew it was a winter thing, the way in cold
we gravitate toward the flame.
What Is to Be Done with This Tiny Life?
Were I Neanderthal I’d be dead by now.
In the future they’ll dig up my bones and drill out the DNA.
They’ll know from my teeth
I ate a pig’s butt, a blueberry, a McDonald’s Happy Meal.
From my wizened heart they’ll know how I loved—
and who—how the world sang
to me, how it nourished—
how it hurt—
my parents who gripped my milk-chubby legs as they wiped
my crotch and pinned the new diaper, my brothers born
in pools of blood and vernix—my lovers
whose bodies I explored, a kind of pre-mortem prayer,
the good fights I failed to fight, failed to fix—
the veterans’ despair,
of destruction—wipers swishing back January rain
that should be snow.
I inhabit such a small, perfect
body in the impossibly long range
of time and space.
I’ve filled my head too long with fear.
Now I must let my room flood
with light, magnify tree limbs streaked
with silver lichen, milkweed pods bursting
white seeds, clay artifacts—a heart, a head of garlic—
get ready to pass my good bones on.
Becca Shaw Glaser
Becca Shaw Glaser is co-editor and author of the activist manual Mindful Occupation: Rising Up Without Burning Out. Her fiction, nonfiction and poetry has been published in Black Clock, The Rumpus, The Columbia Review, Lemon Hound, xoJane, Two Serious Ladies, Birdfeast, Vinyl, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Laurel Review, Quaint, and New South, among other publications. She is a graduate of Syracuse University’s Creative Writing MFA Program. She is also an artist, activist, illustrator, teacher, and lover of swimming and growing things.