For Tonight We Attend a Fertility Seminar 

Poetry

by Marisa Crane

I am terrified of having a child. There, 

I said it. Is the fear gone yet? Has it grown

twinkle toes & danced offstage? You seem

so confident, so steady. I want to hold 

on to you as I rock to & fro. Don’t be alarmed

if I vomit over the side railing. Yesterday

I set up my new record player & cried

when a piece of it broke off. Of course, my tears

weren’t for the plastic. If I can’t assemble this shit,

how will I ever keep a human alive? I choked.

You wrapped me in your arms, but still I felt cold.

I am made of impractical atoms. They buzz about clumsily,

like June bugs. My blood spills here & everywhere.

Our child will soon inherit the mess I made. Babe,  

a confession disguised as an observation: Post-baby our dynamic 

will change. You will have less time for me—

of that I am certain. I have a nasty habit of measuring life

by the losses. There will be times in which

you say I love you & I will mistakenly

think you are talking to me. I will mourn

the sentiments that are not mine to keep.

This morning: You wandered into the kitchen,

eyes full of blue light. You looked at me

as if I’d spent all night building a tower to the sky—

absolutely dazzled. I worry I will become

less remarkable around the baby. A face you’ve grown

used to. Oh how I hate that phrase. It makes me want to

dig my own grave & sneak naps when you 

aren’t looking, until I am more sleep than awake,

until I am so close to death that I hold myself a wake.

Once you give birth, your precious eyes will shoot

in a new direction. How pathetic I am to act

as if there is only room for one 

cannonball in your arsenal.  

Marisa Crane is a lesbian fiction writer and poet. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in X-R-A-Y Magazine, Pithead Chapel, Drunk Monkeys, Jellyfish Review, Okay Donkey, Cotton Xenomorph, Riggwelter Press, Maudlin House, formercactus, and elsewhere. She currently lives in San Diego with her wife. You can find her on Twitter @marisabcrane.

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