Before the Wedding He Asks What I’m Thinking

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Chelsea Bayouth

 
 

I always assumed Mama and I would

raise the baby.



I’d move back home

swollen and broken



and she and I would tend to

the pregnancy like village women.



The child,

product of my apathy and some boyfriend:



The drunk with the beard or

the man on whose floor I woke up



covered in ants.

Somehow, there was never a baby.



Or if there was,

something the size of a kidney bean



dripped out of me late, like cave snot

to my whispered



Thank You’s.

Forgive me. I never thought



I would wear the hand

of a glimmering lake



and fall asleep in a home near

a man who smells like laundry.



When there were accidental mushrooms

growing in the back seat of my Toyota



I was sure I deserved

the year-long anal fissure



the recurrent throat infection

the car wrecks.



Forgive me Something,

I never knew



it could be like this.

That I had the right.