By Catie Rosemurgy
A paperweight of sorts.
A shiny genetic clip for the stack of notes she’s become
on carbon dating, lozenges, and “getting over it.”
On a park bench she could lean over
to the other stunned, unmade-up mothers
who stare like cruelly unfinished paintings.
She could say, we are the giant price tags
that once hung off them.
A penny to toss in the well.
Mindlessness held together by bones.
Something that happened once in the distance,
like a war or an arctic expedition.
A list of ways she would try not to feel about a son or a daughter.
A list of choking hazards and a list
of times she will have peeled back the curtain
for him or her by age seven.
A list of golf courses and shades of blue.
Her penmanship begins to pile up and look like sticks,
like an attempt at a tiny fire left on a stone.
Catie Rosemurgy lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and teaches creative writing at the College of New Jersey. Her poetry collection, My Favorite Apocalypse, was published by Graywolf Press. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Award for Emerging Female Writers and a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship.
Originally appeared in NOR 3