MY RULE WAS ALWAYS THIS
I must be able to pronounce it.
To slip the language through my lips,
to mean it. And I did. Each night,
I rolled their names over
and over my tongue. I stopped smoking.
I rubbed my belly. Thought, the time, it is coming.
I practiced baking birthday cakes,
tying shoes. Goodnight moon.
This month again I stroke
each viscid brown (almost) child
as he slides out of me.
We were going to call you Cuauhtémoc,
I whisper. An eagle
who descends on his prey. Here,
in the fluorescent bathroom,
mold covered baseboards,
my fingers are forced to the truth,
it turns inside my uterus:
a balloon full of radon.
TIME IS ALSO A MOLECULE
Mercury is in retrograde and astrologers advise
against signing contracts. What do we trust if not beginnings?
I was not on a path that led me here;
I am here and now I see the path. Out there
the bus goes by every 15 minutes, my dog barks
at passing strangers. Strange men who glance inward,
I put your face on every one of them. I keep a hammer
under my pillow. My grandfather taught me precaution.
Grandpa, how do I meet anyone when our lives pass like data
from one invisible account to the next? I do not earn anything.
I am only losing sight of what once was real —
the way grass feels in the morning, like a soft shower.
Sarah Janczak is a writer and digital strategy consultant in Austin, TX. She studied poetry at Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from inDigest, EDGE, and Colorado Review.