A Poem by Rebecca Griswold

Rebecca Griswold

Rebecca Griswold

Rebecca Griswold is an MFA candidate at Warren Wilson. Her debut collection of poems, The Attic Bedroom, is out with Milk & Cake Press. Her poems can be found or are forthcoming in Cimarron Review, Blood Orange Review, Still: The Journal, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, and others. She was a River Styx International Poetry Contest finalist. She owns and operates White Whale Tattoo alongside her husband in Cincinnati.


Pregnancy Log


I can’t eat anything this week.
The baby, wombound,
kicks me faithfully (we have that, at least).
This little girl
with a fluid pocket in the wrong place
a pocket inside a pocket, really.
Polly-pocket sized.

Don’t Google anything. If you have a question, just call me instead.

This is only a sick joke
someone is telling
another person
at the bar
down the street.

                           Don’t be alarmed if you burst
                           into tears after they pull the needle out, you won’t be the first.

The hospital-grade antiseptic
has become a weird
sunless tanner that I look at occasionally
in the mirror.

My stomach, stained
in a perfect circle
like a harvest moon,
like something that could glow.

Don’t be surprised if you feel no relief at all as the waiting begins.

I spend an inordinate amount of time
playing Yahtzee on my phone
eternally rolling dice
in a perfect game
of digital chance.

I spend hours searching
for a discontinued perfume
I’ve missed
for over ten years.

My mother asks me if I want to go
to a pregnancy center.
Pregnancy center is code
for anti-abortion clinic.

The State of Ohio taps its slick black shoe.
The State of Ohio has its old white hand on a stopwatch.

Can you swallow sadness?
Can you lick bitter
from the atmosphere?
Can you pluck grief
at peak ripeness,
the way a hand might
an October apple,
the way you find new rooms
in the house of your body,
always for pain.