Jennifer Blair

I hear girls are born with all the hearts they’ll ever

have sewn inside their arms and legs. Candy hearts,

the quaint powdery kind that leave those little trails

of slug-soot on children’s desks during Valentine’s

Day parties. They say you can’t stop being born with

them and you can’t ever control which ones will

arrive in your palm to give at the crucial moment.

A lavendar URGR8 to the woman with bad breath

who helped me open my checking account, orange

NICE to my friend with the cracked front tooth

and today in the brick building waiting room

full of rumpled magazines over two years old,

when my name is finally called and I grab my

purse to get up, a mint green SWEET BABY

falls right into the overstuffed chair where

I’ve been sitting, sweet little baby taking its

first tentative chubby steps in my cells,

dropping a dark yellow rattle, screeching.

Follow me the nurse with the broken blood vessel

in her right eye smiles, my tan chart in her hand.

When she apologizes again for how she must look,

I smile and tell her it’s nothing. Skin drenched in

cold paper gown sweat, I still think that love is best.


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