Fetus, little accidental cluster,
celly jelly mass of potential,
sanctified smear of blood tissue.

I cannot write to you unless
I call you a you. But I doubt you are.
I deny you are listening.

You beat only, obstinately hearted,
and divide as if there were room,
the whole dark uterus to yourself.

What do I want to tell you, to return
for sheets of nausea thrown over my head
like banners of your presence?

I should not have to talk to someone not there.
But there lies your power: that you might be.
Your future fists demand an explanation.

I try, with this image of veering out of traffic,
my thigh mangling in the bicycle frame.
An awareness of being made of meat.

Whereas you: like a blackberry, still unripe.
I checked textbooks for your picture,
and I know your life size compares to a bean.

I fully realize I'm making you a vegetable,
classing you in a whole other kingdom.
Fetus, I will not ask you to forgive,

only to bleed out of my way,
you sorry dark string of snot,
interruption interruptus, mistake, shame.

1997 Jessica Manke


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to live my life the way I feel is right for me,
might not be right for you
but it's right for me."
- Sarah McLachlan, "Elsewhere"

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