From a noted new author comes a brilliantly original collection of poems that explore the experience of pregnancy through the curious lens of medical technology. Playing on the intersections between life and gestation, knowledge and curiosity, love and fear, Elizabeth Percer presents an unflinchingly tender and honest meditation on the mysterious condition known as pregnancy.
It looks like a great sea snake
rising from your middle.
And the twin swells of your hips
are locked beneath it,
like those oddly hinged creatures
that live rooted to the bottom
of the world. In order for you
to be born, in order
for you to breathe,
they will cut this great thing
between us, and it will wither
even as you are still rooting,
the blood that connected us will be drying
black scarlet. Still, my milk will rise,
my body will offer its sustainable
liquids. Though you will be sure
to teach me distance, and its grace,
through your calls and your demands,
your infant displeasure with dependency,
it won’t be easy. For a while — who knows how long —
I will hold fast to the truncated line,
will mark the faint gasps of your swallows in time.