Month five: you carry a peach inside you.
The fetus covers itself in sparse fur. You may or may not
birth a child who looks like a seal as much as an infant,
inhabit a second caul in refusal of this world.
When my son was born behind the veil, I knew I was cursed.
He shrieked the inner skin through his mouth and became a wolf.
I had no midwife to counter my dread.
The boy shed everywhere. The first lanugo, the hair of his head,
skin such that he seems a snake. I wrap him in bandages
and a hood. I keep him home to protect us all. I black the windows.
No one can hide forever. Sailors come to beg
his body for their ships, call him temple, amulet.
No boat may be torn asunder with my boy aboard.
They do not fear him, but do not touch him either.
Boy gone or boy kept, I worry myself thin through the floor.
Unfed, I grow like my son: the fine hair of birth and hunger.
I crave the nearness of his body. I am the only boat he will board.
The longer he is gone, the more hair spreads
caresses the curve of my cheek, my hollow chest.
I lay more sod to the walls for warmth. Outside
I wear the full shearing of a sheep and tread gently.
What am I suppose to do with all of this fur,
my own, my boy’s, but felt it into the shape of a life?
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 3.
See all items about Allison Bird Treacy