Consolations after a Birth by Beth Sherman

My books are sniping at one another
Hurling accusations concerning inaccurate information
On blood sugar and forceps.
Later on in the week I will make a bonfire
In the kitchen and scald their flapping tongues.
A mobile over the crib jiggles uncertainly.
The yellow bunny sneers at the spotted cow.
It knows nothing of midwives. Quaint word
From a simpler time when mothers died
With rags stuffed in their mouths to muffle the screaming.
I’ve discovered that I don’t need God.
A gazelle sleeps beside me.
I can feel its fur choking my breath,
I can taste the grass on its hind legs,
Alone in this angry house.

Beth Sherman received an MFA in creative writing from Queens College, where she teaches in the English department. Her fiction has been published in The Portland Review, Sandy River Review, Blue Lyra Review and Gloom Cupboard and is forthcoming in Delmarva Review and Rappahannock Review. Her poetry has been published in Hawaii Pacific Review, Hartskill Review, Lime Hawk, Synecdoche, Gyroscope and The Evansville Review, which nominated her poem, “Minor Planets” for a Pushcart Prize this year.

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