The wonderful DVerse Poets Pub, hosted by Stu McPherson and the very energetic and diversely prolific Brian Miller, has a Poetics prompt on “nightmare” today. Below is sort of a prose poem that came to mind; above my drawing.
She is pregnant. It seems that he had something on his finger, something bad. Her mom once joked about an aunt who’d gotten pregnant from her leg. It must have been something like that.
The worst part is that she’ll have to tell now. The worst part is that they’ll know.
She turns her bare back to the mirror, craning head over shoulder, though it’s easy enough to see, her eyes lodged in a crack in the ceiling.
The skin is smooth as ever between the shoulder blades, until it isn’t. The pregnancy shows itself in the sprout of green-white stems.
They are tubular, waxen, like those on a potted plant that sits above the kitchen sink, the dirty dishes. Only now the sprouts have grown into vines, long tangled ones that dangle from the skin around her spine; and now they are blossoming, clam shell blossoms that pull and weight them.
She knows they can’t truly be clam shells–each holds, within its crust, a cluster of soft violet petals, a yellow stamen–and yet, they are ribbed, hard, grey.
She thinks to cut the vines off. At least, then, she could wear a t-shirt.
With scissors? A knife?
But she is too scared to cut. And what about the grove of naked stems? The dry hard roots? She pictures a bristled section of lawn, the again and again of her dad’s mower.
Better to uproot.
But how can she tug them out? They are embedded in her own skin. She is too scared, too frightened.
And what about the baby?
As she walks from the mirror, she feels the vines following her, the clam shells thumping against her back.
She thinks of tin cans following the car of newlyweds, tin cans and shaving cream and big lipstick kisses. She went to a wedding once; she was the flower girl.
But the vines are not like tin cans, newlyweds. They do not clang, but rustle; for no matter how hard the shells themselves might be, they hit bare skin.