Sarah Allard


Quisbine becomes Hannah Elizabeth

I inspect myself
in the white daylight
of an open shade.

There are harsh
things, here, harsh things.

The softer
objects outside have
too many colors; I have

an empty womb. She
was as big as the moon,
a swallowed planet,

peach globe, with half-
-developed fingers.

Her abdomen heaved
with celestial rotation,
a girl still spinning

around her only source
of gravity; her mother,
whose pull will always grip

the child by her scalp
and eyelids, whose need
will chip granite

from the planet she birthed
until it is raw,


Her two breasts, and your bed

Here, they
paint the churches
red. If I were to climb you,
would you peel me back
like a scab?

Existence is a ceiling
and bed. I leave
remnants of my self

each morning, streaks
on the blue sheets.

When my child is born,
you will be its father. Though
you never found me
underneath, never saw
my face shift & open, never
heard my breath cut it-
-self on your skin.

I wean
these images in the hollow
of my stomach, press fists
to throat, swallow strands

of hair, ripped light. I
tell you again, these float-
ing pieces of stone once
meant something.