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Jill Michelle

How to Get the Guy between Your Legs to Say You’re Rare and Interesting


lose one child / listen to the doctors / try again in eight weeks / listen to the doctors / at the right time of month / listen to the doctors / track it on a calendar / listen to the doctors / make sex no fun / listen to the doctors / find you’re pregnant in fall / listen the doctors / see the high-risk once a month / listen to the doctors / be a broken well / listen to the doctors / lift nothing over five pounds / listen to the doctors / your rope is split / listen to the doctors / no laundry baskets / listen to the doctors / no confused daughter / listen to the doctors / choke down these horse pills / listen to the doctors / drink OJ like water / listen to the doctors / make it to twelve weeks / listen to the doctors / tell your family / listen to the doctors / start bleeding at fifteen / listen to the doctors / change to weekly appointments / listen to the doctors / then get admitted / listen to the doctors / after your sonogram / listen to the doctors / stare at ultrasound strips / listen to the doctors / trace the block print / listen to the doctors / It’s a girl! / listen to the doctors / get in bed / listen to the doctors / try not to stress / listen to the doctors / move as little as you can / listen to the doctors / we need more tests / listen to the doctors / pee in this bucket / listen to the doctors / wake up to needle-tips / listen to the doctors / thermometer communion / listen to the doctors / too many gloved hands / listen to the doctors / rubber fingerprints / listen to the doctors / be touched by everyone / listen to the doctors / when you want to be touched by no one / listen to the doctors / lose yourself in mantra / listen to the doctors / as speculums split you open / listen to the doctors / it’s for the baby / listen to the doctors / for the baby, you can do this / listen to the doctors / let them touch you / listen to the doctors / you can do this / listen to the doctors / stare at the doorway / listen to the doctors / to the room of lost sons / listen to the doctors / you’re crying too much / listen to the doctors / beg to go home / listen to the doctors / bi-weekly appointments / listen to the doctors / find your regular specialist / listen to the doctors / is on vacation / listen to the doctors / when the snow-capped stranger / listen to the doctors / shows up instead of her / listen to the doctor / reads your swollen file / listen to the doctor / as you wait in stirrups / listen to the doctor / from between your bent knees / listen to the doctor / it’s for the baby / listen to the doctor / don’t worry about the blood / listen to the doctor / DNA test is back / listen to the doctor / oh, look at that / listen to the doctor / you’re rare and interesting / listen to the doctor / compound-heterozygous / listen to the doctor / on a blood-clotting gene / listen to the doctor / that doesn’t sound good / listen to the doctor / he squeezes your socked foot / listen to the doctor / instead of kicking him / listen to the doctor / you can do this / listen to the doctor / does this mean you can save her? / listen to the doctor / shuffle papers / listen to the doctor / well, honey / listen to the doctor / it’s for the



Triptych to Wreck Diving

I put on / the body-armor of black rubber / the absurd flippers / the grave

and awkward mask.

–Adrienne Rich


here’s a poem to stitch

the past’s brutal tides to

bruised present butterfly

girl glue-stuck cocoons

herself on bedrest the future

a woman an island bone-throated

hope-spun unreachable but glimmering


 

Jill Michelle's latest poems appear/are forthcoming in Atlas and Alice, BoomerLitMag, Drunk Monkeys, Tipton Poetry Journal and Valley Voices. She teaches at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida. Find more of her work at byjillmichelle.com.





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