I decided years ago that I was fine with this—
shifting between barren and fruitful, ebbing and swelling
beneath drapes of cotton and jersey skirts that scraped the floor. It suits you, they’d say, as I tucked another duckling
in my line, each one following as they should
before I began to grow again. Nine months in
my womb, a year in my arms, two years at my breast
until I rose, again, and they were unable to lie parallel to me—
their bodies wrapped mine like crescents, miniature human hands clutching
to remain in current birth order.
A decade of that surely wears on you—
and now, as I wake, again, watch the copies
of other mothers and fathers inch taller, see women smiling
with satisfaction that they’re edging towards singularity— I think I need that. To take my body back. To feel myself again.
There’s a pill for that—I could leave it up to chance
and accept it, this identity that I am no one but a vessel for others,
or I could choose myself for the first time
since copies of me started growing in my womb
to share my world.
Jesse Albatrosov is an emerging voice in short fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction. She draws inspiration from life–the day-to-day of raising children, creative endeavors and keeping a home while writing–trying above all else to give human experiences a vibrant, visual life. Jesse was the runner up in the 2017 Writer’s Atelier contest for short fiction and her work is forthcoming in THAT Literary Review, Black Fox Literary Magazine and Press 53’s Prime Number Magazine. She could be found online at www.jessealbatrosov.com or on Instagram @jalbatrosov.