That I Was an Egg Inside My Mother


That I was an egg inside my mother inside Lillian                        That she is an egg inside an egg inside me

             What am I missing?

The light that streams from a girl—for the taking                         No, go back—

            See to it—nothing was taken:      Cells reconstitute themselves as orbs of rose light

My whole life I was concerned with membranes:      A four-year-old professor of membranes      Don’t even look at me

I built a faulty moat, the tower puffed relentlessly      hot loving steam     power     course in, as time lights every bower

                                                                                                     My uterus pulsing & pushing: the body’s time

cannot be denied: the thrum in my cervix           when I imagine you—desire makes us                 real. The visceral plane

              of life with a child. Shit piles up.              Your clothes drip with drool         This is the love they warned you of—

where you will stand      anything for a kiss

              You knew            going in        how thick the bliss & terror of containment:          You saw her reach for you

              with those wild owlish eyes        all seeing           scalded knowing             unquenchable flow 

                                          the river’s elbow              where you found her

"Turtle-Owl Woman" artwork by Paula Barkmeier; poem from "Surge," now available for purchase from Tinderbox Editions

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Opal McCarthy


Opal is a poet, teacher, and practitioner of Heartworks Lomi Lomi bodywork. She has served as a writing instructor, yoga instructor, beauty inducer, and healer in Minneapolis, Hawaii, and online. Opal's first collection of poetry, "Surge," a book of wild girls and fierce tenderness, will be available from Tinderbox Editions this fall. Opal is passionate about empowering women to speak their own true words in gorgeous voices—and especially bringing forth the wild, the un-pretty, the secrets, shadows, and splendor within. Learn more at Opal’s website.


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