This poem was just shortlisted for the 2015 Bridport Prize! It’s my second shortlist there, the first was for The Barber which was shortlisted in 2013. Take a look and tell me what you think. Thanks for reading. 🙂

When the Child Came Back Into Me

You should have fucking seen me

flying down 6th Ave. toes first
when I got the call that you were pregnant
and then that you weren’t anymore.

I’d been grinding on some stranger in a halter
sweating through my wife-beater in a basement
painted with curse words.

Then I was knees high
hands high and toes first
in form you would’ve found perfect.

Red, swollen, and raw with thirst
the headphone jack
like a jockey whip against my neck
my pulse playing in my ears

had a
had had a child.

I should’ve known it was all fucked
but when the trash was clattering at my feet I swear to god
the child had come back into me.

We were never more alive
the two of us- in perfect form.

Though we never arrived
and you never got to see me
clear the first five steps to the train
my ribcage clutching my chest
pinching my lungs like forceps

because I wanted everything but to stop
my whole body burning,

because I wanted everything.

Photo Credit: Superfamous//CC BY 3.0

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