My Uterus is Not a Bomb Shelter

Why is touching my skin
important to you
if you'll forget it?

I won’t smell your head
or teach you to open
your eyes & calm down—
looking into mine
won't help you.

They say back is best
with moons & stars,
but I won't tell you
to sleep on your back
in an empty crib,
because all of my nightmares
happen on my back.

If I birth you
in water, I won't
be the one to teach you
the timing of your lungs—
how to breathe
if the umbilical cord is taken
from you, how they'll burst
if you drown.

You'll be afraid
of water, afraid of my womb
& your body wrapped
in layers of fluids moving fast.
I am waiting for the cord
to be cut off & accept
I am not powerful.

Annie Cigic.jpg

Annie Cigic hails from Cleveland, Ohio. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Bookends Review, Gordon Square Review, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in poetry from Bowling Green State University and will be pursuing a PhD in Rhetoric and Writing this fall.