Umbrella’s lighter offshoot

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

has been published or is forthcoming in McSweeney’sBarrelhouse, Monkeybicycle and Pank, among others.

Her latest book, Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam, was published last year by Soft Skull Press.

She can frequently be found at the Bowery Poetry Club, where she runs the Tuesday night poetry series, NYC-Urbana. For more information, please visit her website.

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The Unborn Apologies to Sharon Olds

Sometimes I can almost see them,
shaking their bags of Scrabble tiles,
reading their graphic novels:
the children we could have.

I feel them cartooning earnestly
in their journals, or lazing on the futon,
eating Valentine Day candy in March.

Sometimes I can even see them
cracking their fat necks
like old-timey baseball umps
just itchin’ to yell STRRRRRRRIKE!
as my god-sent birth control pills
pitch yet another brilliant no-hitter
for the 101st consecutive month!

Mostly, I can feel how like me they are,
desperate to stay an idea, to belly flop
every night on my squishy grey matter,
soak in the coffee and good reading.

None of us wants to deal
with shitty diapers or baby puke.
That’s why nieces and nephews exist,
we all agree, nobody needs to make
babies themselves anymore!

We all nod at each other happily
before tucking into a long period
of blissfully uninterrupted sleep
lasting well into the next afternoon.