A shy sparrow tucked into its mud hole,
Never revealing its secret egg,
I wanted my empty-nest uterus to sprout
Flowers, lascivious fruit. But my cracked shell
Spilled out bones and blood, amniotic fluid,
And Senor I-Don’t-Give-a-Fuck
Stitched my lips together
To keep me from hemorrhaging out
Into the dark earth-crawl where she–
Speechless and mummy-wrapped–resides.
Even dead, she must have wanted a mouth
Pursed into a womb-silent whistle
To give me a postpartum kiss,
Besmirch my unpainted cheek.
Some mothers experience phantom-limb syndrome
After the baby is white-towel-entombed,
Her face tucked down until the muck is shoveled
Over her gleaming, brass-handled casket
Because no one wants the bereaved mother to remember
Her dead-hearted dirt baby.
Terri Brown-Davidson is a poet, fiction writer, visual artist, and photographer who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.