Self-Portrait as Mary Toft

Self-Portrait as Mary Toft

Self-Portrait as Mary Toft 338 508 Clara Bush Vadala

Woman admits birthing rabbits a hoax when threat of surgery looms

Everything I birth is human. No, I mean an animal with human skin. Each human is soft as rabbit’s fur. Each rabbit is a supper or a lucky charm. Each piece of the rabbit is also a piece of an opossum. A never ending pouch. A long and textured tongue. I don’t know which I’d rather have. What am I making? I found a mummified opossum in a dark corner of the garage. I set it in a shadow box with flowers. I found the flowers in the garage. The garage door hitches at the top. Like the tissue at the back of your swallow. Everything in me is a mouth. And the hunger is a human I do not know if I want. The garage door opens like a pouch. Always stop your car for opossums. Always check a dead opossum’s pouch for babies. Always check the grass for rabbits before you mow. Always watch the ground for snakes, mouths like empty pouches. In every pregnant dream, another, another mouth I forget to feed.

Header photograph © Adrienne Christian.

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