I Have No

by Kate Evans

Originally published by Zyzzyva

children, I will have no children.  Sperm
have swum in me but drowned, nothing
planted, nothing caught.  I will never feel a knee
swipe across my body from the inside
like a credit card in a slot, like a dancer’s toe
across a gleaming floor.  My blood will never pulse
with another living heartbeat.  I will never grow
blue crooked veins from baby weight.  My legs
will always be less like my mother’s more like my father’s.
Perhaps I will always be more child than adult,
always a daughter, never the monarch, never the queen
commanding my subjects, never the woman warm
in bed with the child who carries her dreams to me
in the blackest moments of night.  I will never rush my child,
swollen, hive-ridden, to the emergency room.  I will never
wonder where she is at 2 a.m., will never worry about her
drinking and driving, will never be told to fuck off
by the teenaged version of the baby
whose lips used to pull at my nipple, my milk
dropping low through my breast like love.

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