Emari DiGiorgio's debut collection, The Things a Body Might Become, is forthcoming from Five Oaks Press in October 2017. She's the recipient of the Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize, the Auburn Witness Poetry Prize, and a poetry fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She's received residencies from the Vermont Studio Center, Sundress Academy of the Arts, and Rivendell Writers' Colony. She teaches at Stockton University, is a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Poet, and hosts World Above, a monthly reading series in Atlantic City, NJ.
Rock worn smooth by amniotic waves,
tide of breath: this ectopic love affair.
In the photo, it looks like a chick
just hatched then shellacked in resin,
drippy eyes, transparent skin, a plucked
thing. Abdominal molar. Pestle to grind
sorrow in the pelvic bowl. The heaviest
brooch you’ve ever worn or carried
in the purse of your body. How still
it stays as you wash, toothbrush
the smallest cracks where limbs attach.
There’s no taking a raisin back to a grape.
No way to chisel its legs loose, the neck
long, to see what went wrong. Though
you might crack it into many lozenge-size
stones that jangle like coins in a pouch.
Laid out like a puzzle, reassemble
as your own Eiffel Tower or scramble
a mosaic of motherhood/absence. Better yet,
mill to a fine powder, one you sprinkle
over casseroles to serve guests mourning
the loss of their own, a way to share
your grief. Or not. Keep it all to yourself.
Snort the heart-shaped line, spell out
its name, the one you've carried inside.
This time the pain in your chest and shortness
of breath will have a root cause, something
to be explained, not this phantom ache.