Gardener

I am in love with my womb
& jealous of it.

I cover it tenderly
with a little pink hat
(a sort of yarmulke)
to protect it from men.

Then I listen for the gentle ping
of the ovary:
a sort of cupid's bow
released.
I'm proud of that.
& the spot of blood
in the little hat
& the egg so small
I cannot see it
though I pray to it.

I imagine the inside
of my womb to be
the color of poppies
& bougainvillea
(though I've never seen it).

But I fear the barnacle
which might latch on
& not let go
& fear the monster
who might grow
to bite the flowers
& make them swell & bleed.

So I keep my womb empty
& full of possibility.

Each month
The blood sheets down
like good red rain.

I am the gardener.
Nothing grows without me.

by Erica Jong

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