» Poetry

Gravida 3 para 1

When the nurse asks if I have a surgical history

I begin to form the word of my uterus and its


drawing out, consider inviting her into the recovery room

filled with women giddy from their return to somatic


solitude, then into the smoke-filled apartment with its

futon mattress and warm bottle of retsina, reward


just for time, passing from before to after

it. I begin to form the word, but the word—its roundness, its flat vacuum


of a face—swallows its own tail. After the medical abortion

I imagined a fish, small fry flapping, and still in some Boston Harbor


it haunts a stand of seagrass, is haunted in turn by its half-sibling

the surgically aborted, ripped from stories


too. Sibling’s sibling I do not speak of, my double-standard shame, my

ill-gotten fishlet, in my mind I hold you in loving kindness and say no



Leah Claire Kaminski

Leah Claire Kaminski is the author of three chapbooks: Differential diagnosis from the Santa Anas (Harbor Editions, 2023), Root (Milk and Cake Press, 2022), and Peninsular Scar (Dancing Girl Press). Poems appear or will soon in Bennington Review, Massachusetts Review, Prairie Schooner, The Rumpus, ZYZZYVA, and others. Winner of the Summer Literary Seminars Grand Prize and finalist for the WICW fellowships, Leah grew up in South Florida and now lives in Chicago. Get in touch at www.leahkaminski.com.