I Grow Extra Ovaries
while I sleep, dream of surplus bicycle wheels spinning,
mitochondria sworls, and how I'll need to compensate. I'll mark myself
with plastic slinkies, knock-offs of metal originals, push-pin
spirograph wheels on a board, then rotate. Am I to blame for disfunction,
grapefruit-sized cyst occluding one ovary? Was it the Alaskan cruise years ago,
dolphins leaping ahead of the bow, or maybe too much backstroke
or how water has always sorted me out and I'm paying a price?
Now I'm instructed to complete a lab, early cancer warning
just to make sure. At night I hold my abdomen, pregnant-like bulge.
Plunged into dreams again, I call out Highwater from a ship's prow.
Early warning to the Pacific Ocean on the voyage north, then inside the ship
run past the bar to pilfer pretzels, hike the backcountry at ports of call,
as far as I can go into Three Sisters wilderness. My friend says
she doesn't know how much time she has left, but don't we all
feel that way when called to the surgeon's table. I bestow an award
for distinguished service to humanity on my original two
arteria ovarica, wrap my shoulders in black crepe, place a mantilla
over my head, and underneath, tight bodice and full skirt,
to present arched branches to my beloveds.
Laurel Benjamin is a San Francisco Bay Area native, where she invented a secret language with her brother. Her work overall holds themes of family and sibling connections, a journey, nature, environment, extinction, curiosity and the idea of actual versus alternate life. There is loss in what is not said, unspoken and connected to, for example, the mother and the idea of mother. She is affiliated with the Bay Area Women’s Poetry Salon and Ekphrastic Writers. She is a reader for Common Ground Review and has featured in the Lily Poetry Review Salon.
The Ekphrastic Review
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