Elegy for My Sister's Unborn Child
Anna Girgenti

Elegy for My Sister's Unborn Child

My body is a small town
and I live on the outskirts
where cattle graze and die. 
Each morning a fresh egg
dribbles into a buttered skillet
but the shell makes no 
sound when it cracks.

At night I lie under the stars
in a corn maze and I am safe. 
Somewhere a willow sighs
and shrugs its limbs— 
I did not think it would hurt so much, 
she said later on the phone,
or that there would be so much blood.

When I cannot sleep
I walk to the train 
above the river. Listen
to it churn itself ash-gray. Hush,
I know—it will be
over soon—but who
can hear me? Maybe—

as it hurls toward the sun, 
the earth clenches its heavy jaw 
to keep from howling.

Anna Girgenti

has contributed to Cider Press Review, Mid-American Review, Zone 3, and other journals. She lives in Chicago where she works with incarcerated writers.