From Vol. 9: “In My Dreams There’s No One in the Maternity Ward,” a poem by Tessa Livingstone

I keep having dreams they take her from me
when I hadn’t finished. I wanted her more.

I wander halls in search of nurses. Babies.
Their open mouths. Their frantic chantings.

Nothing stirs here—only the peahen
who roosts in tall open trees, scratches at leaf litter,

preens brown plumage. A listless planet in orbit,
gravitating in and out of delivery rooms.

My own belly: Jupiter, swollen. I crouch down
to meet her ornamented head. To tell her,

I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.
Instead I follow her into a room

with eggs arranged on a cold chrome table.
A hum of voices. I can feel their fullness,

their tranquil trembling. Tap, tap, tap
and the crack becomes a tiny hole.

Tessa Livingstone is a southern Californian poet who holds an MFA from Portland State University. She enjoys engaging the transformative & macabre in her poems, which have previously appeared in Blue Earth Review, Capulet Mag, Five:2:One Magazine, Geometry Literary Journal, Whiskey Island Magazine, and Portland Review. You can find her on Twitter @livingstonepoet.


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