How we plant, how we let go, hoping for sun,
hoping for rain until there’s too much rain,
until the flood makes us line up two by two,
pair off, build our boats in couples, forget the rest
and try to build a world from two people
who decided to be the same species
without consulting taxonomic charts.
How we produce and produce
and forget to rotate ourselves and get
bedsores and anemia. How all our fields
have anemia. How we fertilize ourselves
to make bodies we can feed off of,
who will feed off of more bodies, always
more bodies for the boat, for the ocean,
for the species we decided to be,
for the family, for a name until
we have given up even
the bits of ourselves
we keep for seed.
Nourish me like I nourished you at the breast.
Nourish me like I nourished you in the gut.
SK BROWNELL is a writer, artist, and educator from the American Midwest. Their poetry, prose, and drama have appeared or are forthcoming in Great Lakes Review, Speculative North, Decoded Pride, Cathexis Northwest, and elsewhere. Stephanie was a 2018 Sewanee Conference Tennessee Williams Scholar, and their work was selected as Editor’s Choice for the 2020 Solstice Literary Fiction Prize and as winner of the 2015 National Partners of the American Theatre Playwriting Excellence Award. Stephanie holds an MFA from Boston University, teaches writing at GrubStreet, and creates with Artists’ Theater of Boston. Connect at skbrownell.com.