I plant her like I wanted her to grow,
cross some dark god over my chest
and wait. For the crowd, the bannered
and picketing, the grotesque posters
of the small creature that grew now beheaded
or punctured, her spleen running wild.
They don’t come. I plant her alone, even though
she still fits inside my palm, plant her
even though she only just shed
from my uterus, the same blood and flesh
now grounded, packed in dirt. They teach us
to love the fingernail, the eyelash.
In the back room, they crowded me
like some holy heifer: placed their hands
on my skin while I lay flat to levitate
her from me, as if to call god down
into a body he’s never touched, into a mouth
he’s never heard from. They placed their palms flat
on my abdomen until I was trembling, until
my throat ballooned out, filled with coals.
When this unripe fetus, my cracked egg
slid out into their hands, they handed her over.
They packed up their cars, folded their pamphlets,
crossed themselves. I plant her alone
because even she isn’t there with me:
small piece of tissue, my shedding, my own
blood clot, wondering how earth suffocates
without throat or lung to fill.