waiting for a baby
half past sex
in the evening of Arizona suburbs, I rented
time out from a personal calendar
to wait with you for the birthday
of your unborn
Son, my father called me, and I wore overalls and cropped hair to match
where you tell me not all's lost, a life can still
fifteen minutes in and you cry out
I'm impatient but nothing compared to you.
One miscarriage and one abortion sit in the ditches
of my own tall tale. I told you this although
all evidence pointed toward silence.
I follow road maps
but rarely. I explained. You held
your head up. You follow them
to the T.
I cannot compare you
to summer days or myself.
lost, hungover, hands hovering over
your abdomen, I repeat a word till it has lost
The feeling of a thing is not the same as the thing itself
I’m overlooking the city, and this is
what I write:
the truth is that things
become more beautiful, and more
interesting. Like coins, I could spend
my life (or longer) studying
your face, or the moon’s.
I’m overlooking the details, and so
I write this quickly, before
it is too late. Like dollars and sense,
time flies when you’re having
fun: your smile, down how many rows of people.
We are both of us distracted. I smile and
smile, even when
people are unhappy.
I’m over looking and not being allowed
to touch. Like rules in a museum:
there for a purpose, but
you have to remember, there’s a reason
It isn’t any different, stealing paintings
or glances. Sometimes, it’s the only way
to make something that isn’t yours
yours. Nothing is inevitable, or
everything is. I look down, and a note appears
on the screen: check your settings and
can it be both. I asked her
why am I always the other
option. it’s as if people think
I am immortal. forever
dangling on a stick – either
just out of reach, or
always around. in case
something changes. I cried
a little about this and then
I sucked it up. I wrote
a poem instead and then
a book. I thought of making it
historical but there have been
enough passes at the past.
I’d like to try something new
but first I’d better go
see a therapist. someone to
reassure me of my rightness,
to co-direct this single and
breathtaking life of mine.
one day, I think (and often) –
one day I will be free.
Erin McIntosh is a writer and actress currently living in Los Angeles. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in various journals including Bone Bouquet, Lavender Review, Hawai’i Review, Plenitude Magazine and Speak Easy Mag.