I’ve been melted into something
too easy to spill. I make more
and more of myself in order
to make more and more of the baby.
He takes it, this making. And somehow
he’s made more of me, too.
I’m a mother now.
I run to the bathroom, run
to the kitchen, run to the crib
and I’m not even running.
These places just scare up as needed,
the wires that move my hands
to the sink, to the baby,
to the breast are electrical.
I’m in shock.
One must be in shock to say so,
as if one’s own state is assessable,
like a car accident or Minnesota taxes.
A total disaster, this sack of liquid
flesh which yowls and leaks
and I’m talking about me
not the baby. Me, this puddle
of a middle, this utilized vessel,
cracked hull, divine
design. It’s how it works. It’s how
we all got here. Deform
following the function . . .
But what about me? I whisper
secretly and to think,
around these parts used to be
the joyful place of sex,
what is now this intimate
terror and squalor.
My eyes burned out at three a.m. and again
at six and eleven. This is why the clock
is drowning, as I said earlier.
I’m trying to explain it.
I repeat myself, or haven’t I already?
Tiny self, along with a tiny self.
I’ll say it: he hurt me, this new
babe, then and now.
Perhaps he always will,
though thoughts of the future
seem like science fiction novels
I never finished reading.
Copyright © 2012 by Brenda Shaughnessy