Belly Up

Belly Up

Belly Up 1709 1920 Naomie Jean-Pierre

for her

this will be the last one
the last poem about
uteruses
i mutter.
let’s play deserted island
you can only choose one food
item
for the rest of your life
make it good.
when we were children
my sister showed us how to make a meal
out of eggs and rice
how to make a doll
by drawing on the eggshell, then
how to keep the yolk
from slipping
out of the white.
there is always one egg left
until there isn’t.
when that was gone
we did not wait
for chariot and white horse.
we emptied out
the cabinets
we made do.
when you are young
there are always a dozen or more million eggs
until there are none.
when that happens
there are no cabinets
and no can do’s.
there are no sisters
with spare uterus parts.
there is only the sole survivor,
the alien nation
of one.
let’s play deserted island.

you have crash landed
the terrain you see
is prehistoric
what looks like textured \
teeth
is

textbook
barrenness.
you belly up.
what it feels like to harden
after everything has been vacated
what it feels like to have
the cardboard roof over your head
swung open
slowly
to have your nakedness uncovered.
you find that there is more than one way
to be naked
more than one way to be hungry
and alone
you find that light

to the loner,
to the woman
with no
ovaries

hurts
burns
even
boils the cold
yellow of her insides
inside
out
sunny
side
down

Header photograph © Lannie Stabile.

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