National Poetry Month Day 34: “Newborn” by Deborah Ager


This brings our 2013 National Poetry Month Project to a close. I’d like to thank all 34 poets who trusted us with their work and all the people who read, appreciated, and forwarded their work along on Facebook and Twitter, via email and word of mouth. You all help make this job worth doing.
Brian Spears, Poetry Editor

P.S. If you like the work we’ve published here, check out the link at the bottom of the page for our e-anthology of the poems we published in our first three years at The Rumpus. It’s free!


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There is a mouth in me
asking to be given its voice.

My hands beg to be freed
from this rock. God, little daughter,

arriving in waves at home.
We work together. You crown, stop.

As though I want no one
to answer, I tap the damp scalp.

How do you rest so close to the edge?
You: purple, open-mouthed.

I have nothing to coo. Cetus
Closes his teeth. I conjured him.

Your tongue stabs at the air.
O, blood at my feet, night.

Little mouth, drugged, looking to nurse
And unable to take hold.

-Deborah Ager

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Deborah Ager is an author, a writer, and founder of a magazine. She’s author of Midnight Voices (2009) and co-editor of The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry (2013) and Old Flame: Ten Years of 32 Poems Magazine (2012).

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →