From Not for Mothers Only:.

From Not for Mothers Only:  Contemporary Poems on Child-Getting & Child-Rearing, edited by Catherine Wagner & Rebecca Wolff:


Now the irises rage light, spiked tongues
at the hospital window

Inside the body’s solarium light shrinks
to cold flat stone

How I would like to just unravel

Through glass, cut leaves curl like fingers
in my throat

I once wished to take myself apart

There is no space between us: body caught in my body

There is the voice telling me there are many ways to give birth

The lesson chalked on the sidewalk like a missing
body these lines the surgeon sketches —

to save her, cut here and here and here

— Nicole Cooley

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