January 2001 / Volume Two / Issue One
NOTE: This poem is divided into 2 parts. Click ">" at the bottom of the page to access the next
Alice Cone
Past the Partition

First trimester

Something has been unhinged.
Something presses against the pelvic floor.
Something stretches the tendons that arch
from my crotch. Internal pins prick me
pink, heat my breasts–  the ache of
adolescence gone ballistic.
Veins and arteries burgeon.
I am loaded and swollen.
My limbs are filling with blood,
drawing me down to the ground.
It's so easy to sleep, I fall outside
sound for days, finally wake
to find the earth is a stuffy bus
where I am stuck and squashed
with the masses, that great gag
like a sock in my throat, an upsurge
of smells–  sweat and musk,
menstrual and sexual secretions.
I can read all the passengers' secrets
by the glistening of their eyes.
I am dizzy with premonitions,
intuition intensified so I've more
than an inkling someone else is
present, though the bus has stopped
and emptied, and I appear alone
on a tropical island to discover
juicy cucumbers–  and oh,
the sweet fruit of the pineapple!

Second trimester

She flutters beneath the surface
of my flesh, twists her toes
around my ribcage, claps her hands
upon my bladder. She is drumming
along with my heartbeat, hiccuping,
twirling and swirling, circumnavigating
the globe of my abdomen, stirring
up amniotic rivers, our circulation.
Symbiotic, we have plunged past
the partition of singularity
while ticking within the limits
of time, the umbilicus binding us
to the idea of individual identities.