How to Make a Baby

Last weekend I had the incredible experience of attending the 2014 Split This Rock Conference, where I listened to panels on being a Queer Citizen Poet, and The New Black Masculinity, and attended workshops for white poets writing about race, and another for creating racial solidarity.  I have a notebook filled with ideas, quotes, wonderful words and pieces of poems from all the folks I listened to. I hope to write something more about the conference as a whole, and will probably post it on The Afterword, as well as perhaps here, but tonight I wanted to post a poem that I wrote this week, based on a spark of an idea that came after watching the dynamic Gayle Danley perform her poem: “The Talk.” It is also somewhat inspired by this poem about having baby with a lesbian lover, “Blue Print” by Theodosia Henney.

How to Make a Baby 

make hop-scotch patterns on the sidewalk.
memorize the mockingbird’s song.
wish some more.
track periods and ovulation,
though there is no reason to.
press yourself against your lover’s skin.
intertwine your fingers, black against white.
tuck her locks behind her ear
cup your hand against tummy
trace the lines of hip-bone.
imagine what if.
think of all the children you would have if love was enough.
let her hold you while you cry.
brace yourself against the stares in public
drop her hand
move close again.
think about donors, unknown and known,
discuss who may carry.
know this will be years in the future.
imagine a home-birth
the humming + rocking + breathing + singing
the blood and the pain and rush of body.
when you break-up,
mourn not only the loss of us,
but also the imagined them.
dream some more.
smile at a 15 month old in the park,
collect sea-glass on a beach in Delaware.
know that however they come into your life,
you will be waiting with open arms.

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