There was a hypothetical pregnancy.
The woman in question accumulated a box-full
of video cassettes featuring pregnant
characters. She wore beads around her waist
and sat up late in bed with a shawl
of her own hair. Roommates circled
her like roosters, offering her most tender
bites of meat, and the apartment
reeked of sweat and powder. And because
in the end there was no fetus
she got to live for several years like this,
long-awaiting. And because I was only
a visitor, I envied the attention paid to her
by God, how He doted on her body.
Sarah Rose Nordgren is a poet, essayist, teacher, and editor. She is the author of Best Bones (2014), winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, and Darwin’s Mother (2017), a finalist for the 2018 Ohioana Book Award, both from University of Pittsburgh Press. Her poems and essays appear widely in periodicals such as Agni, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review Online, Copper Nickel, and American Poetry Review. Nordgren’s new chapbook, The Creation Museum, is forthcoming from Harbor Editions in summer 2022.
“Mary” was originally published in Invisible Cities (TLR, Winter 2013)