I Tell Anne Sexton about My Uterus

Everyone in me was a bird
those months I’d palm my belly
& hum down the lane,
but when they’d die, my uterus
would purge their blood

in clumps, brittle ribs and feet
filling the sad menstrual cup,
feathers smearing toilet paper

at night. Each month I assembled
bird scraps in jewelry boxes. Some

I buried in Witherle Woods,
some I burned in beach bonfires,
& others I dried on the deck

to build dream catchers with.
I’d beat all my wings to beckon

back birds each month, poised,
like you, to praise the cells
their triumphant flurry,

but then out would slip a broken beak,
a smear of brown-red feathers.

I Tell Anne Sexton about My Uterus by Darla Himeles

Photo used under CC.


About Author


Darla Himeles is a poet, translator, and essayist. A two-time Pushcart-Prize nominee, Darla can be read in recent issues of Talking River, Naugatuck River Review, Storyscape, New Ohio Review, and Pittsburgh Poetry Review. She is an associate editor for The Stillwater Review and holds an AB in English from Bryn Mawr College and an MFA in poetry and poetry in translation from Drew University. She is currently a doctoral student in American literature at Temple University, where she teaches undergraduate poetry workshops, first-year writing, and literature classes. She lives in Philadelphia with her wife and daughter and is the author of the chapbook "Flesh Enough" (Get Fresh Books, 2017).

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