Chelsea Dingman's first book, Thaw, was chosen by Allison Joseph to win the National Poetry Series, published by the University of Georgia Press (2017). In 2016-17, she also won The Southeast Review's Gearhart Poetry Prize, The Sycamore Review's Wabash Prize, and Water-Stone Review's Jane Kenyon Poetry Prize. Her work can be found in Mid-American Review, Ninth Letter, The Colorado Review, and Gulf Coast, among others.
When You are Born Missing
half of your heart, I tell you
this world owes you
nothing. The palmettos & pines
will not belong to anyone but themselves,
no matter who owns the ground
beneath them. You can't even cry,
your breaths coming in rasps. But you linger,
not knowing how to run. I tell you
there are miracles, when miracles
are everywhere & nowhere. When
we're not lost, so much as lost
to the world, looking for a new way of living
that doesn't involve blood or the need
to breathe. Linger a little longer, I beg
you. Maybe what you're missing isn't
just a left ventricle to pump blood
to your lungs. Maybe it's not knowing
how a pulse divides us, as you wander
across boundaries between living
& not living, to touch me again,
as if dying is almost easy.
Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
All contents © the author.