I dream that I give birth

poetry 0
Brooke Schifano

 

but it’s different than the usual one
where I’ve been drinking and remember
quite suddenly, that I’m very

 

very round. Where it’s all confusion
and shame until the moment I snap awake
sweating. In the new one, the baby just slips

 

out onto the floor. He comes out of me easily,
slippery, painlessly. I think, how simple!
I’m happy as a cow, nosing my freshly

 

born onto new knees. But it isn’t a baby
it’s a toddler—blond, blue-eyed and smiling
mischievous as a middle school bully

 

in a nineties movie. My legs bent like a catcher’s
behind home plate, I catch him, carry him
gently, to the ground. He lands on his feet

 

and takes off running. There is no usual
afterward, no small curled thing dusted in white
pressed against my dazed smile. I see

 

his eyes, his teeth, when he looks back
before turning the corner. “Goodbye, my man,”
I say to the empty room. To my emptied body

 

the doorbell sounds like a slow, deep mooing
before it dings. My legs land splayed
on the carpet, wobbling before they steady.

Brooke Schifano’s poetry and visual art has appeared or is forthcoming in Sonora Review, Response, Container, Mortar, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in poetry from UMass Boston, where she currently works as an associate lecturer.