Other women don’t tell you

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach

it’s a battle for the body, for every
part of it, he’s all you, some say,
he has your eyes, and others, he has
your hair, look at those curls, and you let them
twist around your finger, vine tendrils
more plant than boy, more wild than will,
more him than you, but it’s a battle
for ownership, for claiming the body
you left him with as yours, and when
you tell your mom he rode the escalator
up and down, repeating “Whoaaaaa”
in fascination at each descent away
from the flourescence until the lights
of Gucci and Versace drew him
towards their dazzle, He has
good taste, your mother says,
then adds, You used to have taste too.
So now you lack the parts of you
you’ve given him, your eyes
are likely gone as well.
You’re chasing a toddler, blind
through the shopping mall, you’re Tiresias,
prophet, between earth and myth, god
and manlike thing, you’ve given everything
away to own these parts of him,
his eyes and hair, the certainty
that they are yours, or so they tell you.
So you are blind and bald and he is full
of sight and mane and beautiful, and soon,
your mother tells you, she won’t know how
to talk to you, but also that he doesn’t have
your mouth, his nose, she’s said, is undecided still,
unclear if he will wear your history of bones,
dead noses piling up, all yours yours yours,
but maybe, not his, maybe, other women tell you
he looks just like his dad, and you see it
in his cheeks and jaw line, in the flatness
of his feet, the ankles caving in, and in the dips
from waist to hind, as though some god
or ghost has left their thumbprints
to remind you how his body
isn’t yours at all.

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Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach emigrated from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, as a Jewish refugee when she was six years old. She has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf and TENT Conferences as well as the Auschwitz Jewish Center. She is the author of The Bear Who Ate the Stars (Split Lip Press, 2014).

American Poetry Review

May/June 2018

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Elizabeth Scanlon

The American Poetry Review is dedicated to reaching a worldwide audience with a diverse array of the best contemporary poetry and literary prose. APR also aims to expand the audience interested in poetry and literature, and to provide authors, especially poets, with a far-reaching forum in which to present their work.

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