Forbidden Birth

by Cyndie Randall

You, hushed parakeet under sheet of men’s shirts, kicking my cage through nine months
of night, secret morse code between us. By day we pretend you burrowed in my earth after

I found you bitty in a snap pea, plucked you out and swallowed you whole,
rivered your body through my insides and grew it quietly. What bad men? we say.

It’s like a drum, the thunk of placenta, how arms give way above pools
of rogue blood that corrupt the bare floor. We turn the ting and clink of sterile

tools into bells announcing you. What music we make, screaming. Never a minor
key, even as blue hands wrap ‘round your cage and crush. What bad hands? we say.

Mine reach and reach, and my teeth begin to chew toward you when a deep voice echoes
It is over now              Just sleep now            Sleep, little garden                             as if

we can be over, as if   you and I         don’t   already k e e p            e a c  h o  t    h     e       r

In my dream, someone is scraping you out of my window sill. He uses my own cupped hand

to do it. You are ten sticky spider sacs and one dying bumble bee caught
in yourself. You leave your stinger sharp in my thumb, secret morse code

between us. I kiss it hello in the morning and swallow. I rub my belly. We pretend
a new heaven, a new earth. What hell on earth? we say.