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Poem to My Unborn Son the Morning after the Election

Since November began, the painters have been here
stirring their mixtures, preparing for the days ahead, laying down

the dark canvas around the grass perimeter outside.
First they papered the windows, so that in here when I wake

I can't be sure my eyes are fully open. In the partial light
I make my way through the familiar interior

now suddenly made strange. I count the steps
to the kitchen, am careful in passing

through doorways, slip my body down the hall
without touching anything. I think your life thus far must be like this,

all subtle movements in the semi-dark, my skin half-illuminated
by day, then a shade pulled down at night. I read that this is the week

your body takes on pigment, the blood red burrowing beneath
fat, beneath skin, becoming closer to the color you will learn to wear

in a world that will have to decide whether to love you
or fear you for it. This is the truth about where we are,

as the men work outside, the ladders against our walls
like sudden thunder. We ready ourselves to be altered completely.

Michelle Brittan Rosado

Alaska Quarterly Review

Summer & Fall 2017

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