The First Nine Months

by Jim Fowler
Babilu
Third Place, August 2015
Judged by C. Wade Bentley


I found a new vision of you
after the first bite. Dark clouds
casting shadows over your
blank face and fig-leafed body.

The reptile was right. I needed
his counsel in the new affairs
of my heart. For you puzzle me,
relentless in your need to couple.

Your whispered words of eternal
love in my ear are less important
now my stomach swells, smooth
with the new fruit of our joining.

Soon I’ll have sons. Jawbones in hand,
troublesome to me as their father.


This poem is tight and terse—as tough and matter-of-fact as its speaker. The ending is especially fine. --C. Wade Bentley

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