National Poetry Month Day 20: Caitlin Cowan
The president’s spiritual advisor called for the fruits
of satanic wombs to miscarry two days before I discovered
the blueberry growing in me, four days before the mothwing
of its heart stopped winking in double time. Every time
I write mothwing, someone whispers mothering, turns me
into something I am not. The stained towel strewn
on the highway is not a crane from the nearby marsh. Notice
I avoided the word stork: storks have no syrinx, which is
one way to say they have no voice. Cranes are very vocal,
like the pair I watched on TV to numb out those first weeks.
Two brothers. Everything is babies. Grief is a hollow
whose depth never changes, a perfect post hole for a fence
love wants to build but can’t. How’s this for satanic: I kept the jar
of good blood like a beating heart, let it loom like red meat
in the fridge. It was cold. I am cold. Damn the heart-shaped
teratoma they lift from a friend’s empty womb. Damn
the president. Full of teeth and hair, hers was no child
but could have been for the awe it seeded in her. It might be a letter
that never reached its destination, quite simply not carried, slipped
from the mailbag like a leaf, grown quiet as a moth’s wing
still beneath its own dust. When our letters are delivered,
in this world or another, I imagine the someone who reads them.
Photograph of Caitlin Cowan courtesy of Caitlin Cowan.