I am trying to bear a child before my grandmother dies. No secretly slipped condom, no clenching cum like a bite of water, no. Rather I scour subways for a mate, reach for the crisis of give or keep so that in her life, my second-womb, my ultra-mother, might have a four-generation photo to email New Mexico’s Maureen. So that Mimi, my one-queen, my heart’s graffiti, can die in quiet disaster, spilling from this planet to that, secure in the decision of her progeny. And if, in these formative years of her aging, in these unraveling ones of mine, I do not meet the lover around whose fingers I can fit myself completely, then I shall pray with the parish of my back: Let me be our Mary. Toss my insides into Armageddon, give myself unto myself and like the glorified carpenter you are, construct stemmed legs and a tiny heart in the cake of me. Bring one immaculate child into this sore world. Let her be mine. Let my grandmother hold her just once.
Marney Rathbun is a poet and teacher in New York City. Her work can be seen in Reservoir Literary Journal, and in her chapbook I call my father by his name, winner of the 2016 Jubilat Makes A Chapbook competition. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at New York University. She will survive the apocalypse by laughing.