Michelle Brittan Rosado – Second Child Abecedarian

Michelle Brittan Rosado

Second Child Abecedarian

Again: this is how it
Begins. What to say to the wordless?
Count: one, two, three. Clouds, blocks,
Drops of rain.
Everything is 
Finite. I
Go on numbering 
How many days, weeks, months
I have held him outside my body. 
Keeping the score,
List of possible
Misfortunes we
Out of to get here. One:
Pulling myself out of the wrecked car, no
Quickening under my skin. 
Remain, remains—
Such a slight
Toss of a coin. They turned the screen of the
Ultrasound away from me, 
Viability a word I listened for as they
Whispered in the windowless 
Exam room, while I said
Yes to whatever might happen next—
Zero or zenith—then rapid heart. 

Author’s note: The poems in this series all use the image of a window as their starting point, some in the title itself and others more peripherally. I’ve been thinking of this symbol a lot lately — as a portal for wonder in childhood, an aperture to others’ lives during the pandemic, a view of the world outside after giving birth and spending those early days indoors. These poems may not have come into existence without the invitation to contribute to The Fresno 15, and I am endlessly grateful to the MFA program for my years there and the deep sense of community I’ve carried with me since graduating in 2011. Thank you for reading and for supporting the Larry Levis Memorial Scholarship. 

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