I dig for my lost birth
control in the trash can,
at your house, Mama.
You who gave birth to daughters
and daughters almost. When
I write about miscarriage, I don’t ask
what you would have named her,
far enough along to know the sex. I wasn’t alive
to see the day if my older sister would be my older sister,
brother, older of all, both male and female,
for gender knows no confines, but I’m confined to this:
when I write about miscarriage, I don’t ask you
details, instead say this: the mama in my story isn’t you,
she holds on to God, but when she holds loss as poppy
flower stains, help me carry your pain correctly.
When I say excavation, when I say doctors hunting
even for absence. Especially so. When I say Mama defined
as a daughter losing daughters. When I say wound
and womb sound too similar, I think of how my love
and I don’t know if we want children yet.
But we croon at small things, nuzzle against dog ears with our mouths.
Mama, I don’t know if I will carry your same stitches.
You say I’m getting at the feeling when I describe the inside of you
as a pink cave pleading to close, curved walls made of rib.
Hysterectomy hisses like history, like a family tree small
enough to trace but rooted deep in the soil. Mama please
let me hold your sorrow, let me love you for her, for him,
for me, for the both of us, don’t read this if it hurts. Please
Mama I am trying to put balm on the stitches like a note
passed under a locked door.
Hysterectomy hisses like history, like a family tree small / enough to trace but rooted deep in the soil.