The Quickening

My favorite part of pregnancy was the idea of aliens inside me—
limbs prodding beneath layers of muscles parted, tissues stacked
tucking essential human elements of me and them together
so we could feed off of each other symbiotically.
I loved how they teased the outside world with impressions
from within, but never while waiting.
The bumps would come but stop when I surveyed, an archeologist
on a dig for skeletons I couldn’t know, a seek and find of half-grown humans
I hadn’t a chance to see. I was always supine beyond recommended weeks while gestating,
willing mind-fed oxygen to my unborn, questioning how women managed to birth
sound babies before the guidance of professionals—it’s a fine miracle
every baby of mine wasn’t born with a tail or nine toes and two heads from the time
I spent straddled beneath weighty genetic carbon copies,
each one dining on fine spreads of cellular soups and oxytocin.
Me, on my back, eating, breathing, seeing, speaking unrecommended activities
while biding my time. I miss every day we grew together—
he or she longer, fatter, as I swelled, stretched to widths I could never have imagined
when I tucked pillows beneath my shirt as a girl. My babies danced
behind bruised ribs, uterus amplified, each kick and push mounting
head dipping downward before departing—enveloped in membranes
from the most guarded place I’ve come to know on earth.

Photo Credit: EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operation Flickr via Compfight cc

Jesse Albatrosov

Jesse is an emerging poet living and writing in the Central Florida area, with her husband and five children. She moonlights as a seamstress for her Etsy shop and is currently working toward her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and English with a concentration on Poetry. Her work is published or forthcoming in THAT Literary Review, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Mothers Always Write, Press 53's Prime Number Magazine, Streetlight Magazine and others. You can find her online at or on social media.

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