Full in the fat wallow of me,
Even to the marrow—

Blood plumping along in a red swell
Of venules
Blushing my most unabashed

Skinpatches: nosetip, earlobe, wristshallow. O
This mother
Is a crush of too-muchness,

A malady of my baffled self awash.
Finally the days, will I find

My bones I lost, will my sharps and edges
Hedge this fleshy
Habit I've made of excess?

Already my heartracing startles
In another's
Twitches, my dinner hiccups

Another's diaphragm. Already and almost
I swear I feel
The protein creep of me, cell

By splitting cell, into another's life.
This mother-grief
Sorrows not for the heart-close one

I'll lose from me at my delivery
But for my own
Soul overboiling, unbound, bound

To a stranger's groans, undone by his hurts
And remorses
To the third and fourth

Generations. What I'm birthing is my own
Never again mere. Never again my own.

by Kimberly Johnson

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