Lindsey Bellosa lives in Syracuse, NY. She has an MA in Writing from the National University of Ireland, Galway and has poems published in both Irish and American journals: most recently The Comstock Review, The Galway Review, IthacaLit, Crannog and The MOON Magazine. Her first chapbook, The Hunger, was published with Willet Press in 2014.
the black mouth empty
and quivering, and where there should be that shape,
that almost leggy, round-eyed jump, there is only space.
The doctor purses his lips, as he pursed them at the foot of my birth bed
where he delivered my first son. He was tired then, three in the morning
bleary Christmas Eve. Now, he stands at the foot of this table and delivers
as kindly as he can: “This looks very early” and “there is no heartbeat.”
His eyes are smeared with sympathy as his hands and the cold instrument
probe me. Once those hands issued out my son, rich with birth blood
and cries. Now they search my womb, an open sarcophagus. Not death;
this is an un-being: life tentative as seed that doesn’t take root.
I think of my son, wanting pictures of the “tiny baby” and hope
he will forget ,that we will rip out this idea as stitches in a project started
but abandoned, a mouth that opened to speak but aborted its idea.
The screen stays black and true, the doctor apologetic. My body:
exposed as fraud, made promises it can’t or won’t deliver.
The probe retracts; the doctor and I, bereft of purpose.
Time has lost its shape. There is nothing to hand over.
After the miscarriage
Now, the sky swallows the moon:
slivered dream that never grew
never a summer moon, never June
waxing fat and white over green
earth grown full to bursting dream—
summer’s humped up colors, now unseen.
All is faded into November’s dark—
the world: blank sky, gone stark
swallowing dreams: cricket and lark
don’t sing. All gone black, deep or sank
into night. I have no song, no child to make.
You, slip of light, left no scar or mark.
When it’s November
O cherry blossom tree, spiteful relic,
gaunt and waning— all purple excess
a frail memory now, fleeting as joy
gone so much longer than it returns
and even when it does… now,
fear has built crow’s nests
My womb scraped clean as black branches,
waving only grey: shocked grey, the sky
baleful; chickadees left shaking their bushes.
The season made promises it couldn’t keep.
Still, we look. Hope, that tenacious bird,
determined for spring.
Those dewy parasols, glorious as love,
dog- eared and newborn skinned—
nothing so beautiful lasts.
Why, you’d burst with it anyway.
Even love has its seasons.
Even the moon can’t stay full.
Thanksgiving after the miscarriage
You can’t blame yourself. Think of it—
each tiny step, so meticulous. It’s a miracle
life happens at all.
But winter has come again. The changeover;
every intricate snowflake, more perfect
than what you were: never shaped, heartless.
Arms of trees, old as moss, weighted with white
and sharp snowfall, the newborn tongue
hard against my nipple—
a cancelled holiday. Invitations retracted, my womb:
an empty punchbowl. All politely dismayed, all
swept quiet, grey and me: most suddenly
barren. Loss like snow rounds the air, filling
our mouths. We bend our heads to it. Ashes,
white remnants, settle as from a distant disaster.
Myself: a pebble, within
and waiting; the smallest sea
to rage and subside—
this is a woman’s world,
cycling through seasons automatically:
slave to the moon, wet orb of grief:
its cliffs remote in pooled milk of light
and the strange creatures washing up.
In spite of what we hand over to them:
their truths, instruments, eagerness to fight…
in spite of this, nothing. They watch our faces turn,
ruthless as the moon, flushed to pale: all grief
pouring as blood like light, the cratered and unknown
depths. Lawless, lost to power: a woman can’t be ruled
or known. The sea has its way, takes what it takes,
fills or bereaves. The earth turns over, again.