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Sarah Jacobs
Sarah Jacobs

Date of Birth: 7/18/83
Location: Bangor, Maine

A dusk earthworm quivering in my palm before dawn;

This is my mother's garden
The flowers are dull purple in blossom,
They are dingy but rich in the earth
Their smell is thick and menstrual
This is where women have given birth, erupting in curving, wrenching pains
It is the low, spicy sweat of an old woman that haunts the soil
Wrinkles have formed in every flower petal and
They are the map of an old woman's face

In Spring this earth writhes with the cycle of
Ancient wombs
It continues incessantly
Until the mind smoothes itself,
No wrinkles on the sheets, no clots, no dripping sap of afterbirth,
Until there is no more milk
Until the body eats itself and becomes more pungent with the refuse

Finally, grandmother has slipped and broken her hip
In the hospital she doesn't know my name and they have tubes up her nose
Her bed is smooth, cool, clean
There is no earth for her to dig herself into;
Next morning, her bleary eyes have been taken away--
All that remains when the nurse pulls sheets
Are her two ovaries,
Tired bulbs of clotted nausea already sickened with the hungry cancer of life;
They will be buried, silent tumors thirty inches under the frost