THE POET FINALLY WRITES A PERIOD POEM, AND IN DOING SO, QUITE LITERALLY PUTS BABY IN THE CORNER By Harper Russet

THE POET FINALLY WRITES A PERIOD POEM, AND IN DOING SO, QUITE
LITERALLY PUTS BABY IN THE CORNER

after Lydia Havens

my body confesses itself to me
through blood. on the sullied cloth
it hisses, “both the moon
and your emptiness tells me
it is time for you to hurt.”

if we are all indeed half of our fathers,
this is the half that mine gave me:
the half that bleeds, the red tantrum
bellowing for a child.

i hate the term birth control.
i call mine everything control,
holding the blood back on a leash
and watching it strain against rope,
white-eyed and rabid.

my body calls it,
everything aches when i don’t get what i want,
and i want something to cradle
that isn’t your gender-melancholy for once.
give me something warm and smiling.
a new heartbeat. i’m bored with yours.
a baby would have a heart as small as a cherry
and yours is so – so big, so loud,
it takes up the whole room
before that mouth of yours
even has a chance.

my body calls it,
i know everything you’re afraid of.
every poem you write, there’s a baby
hiding under the page calling you mama.

there’s your father loving you again,
his praises one big i-told-you-so,
i-knew-you’d-come-around,
i-knew-you-were-my-little-girl-after-all.

there’s me, your own body,
my praises one big i-told-you-so,
i-knew-you’d-come-around,
i-knew-you-were-a-big-girl-after-all.

there’s you carrying something
that needs love
more than you do.

By Harper Russet

Biography:

Harper Russet (she/her or they/them pronouns, interchangeable) is a 24-year-old butch lesbian poet and novelist from Utah. Every poem she writes is an argument with gender, the country, and so many gods. Videos of her work can be found on Write About Now. You can also find Harper on Twitter and Patreon.

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