I dream that I give birth

Brooke Schifano
| poetry


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.

Getting the Lead Out