Sarah Brown Weitzman
Of that first birth
wrenched from the warmth of a womb
I have no memory. The second
woman not born of woman
I woke to the smell
of my own flesh burning
along every nerve
while memories that couldn’t be
mine flashed like lightning bolts
as I convulsed in the straps.
Like the phantom pain
of a lost limb, I felt the full lives
of all my parts but if I cried
out, I knew not though I fought
this birth as you would fight
your own death.
What you can now see, I saw
suddenly one day in the great hall mirror.
But what can you know, you with your skin
like an uncut peach, your mother’s eyes,
your father’s mouth? A woman of parts,
I am the Eve of my kind.
I am all women conceived
of by a man, patched and stitched,
a mouth like a tear, doubly right-handed,
Frankenstein’s joke of efficiency, oh, then
why did he put longing in? I have a mind
not entirely my own, knowledge
not so much learned as remembered.
I want to break all mirrors
in the world and to flail
the still surfaces of lakes to blind you
to my outward self, to be pardoned
for this form. Father Frankenstein,
if you can’t love me, who will?
Of the monster I haven’t spoken yet
though it is well known that I shrieked
when I saw him. Newborn that I was,
they gave me to him. Yes,
he hurt me. And I ache still
but strangely in a place I am sure
he did not touch.
First published in The Rockhurst Review.
Sarah Brown Weitzman, a Pushcart nominee, has had hundreds of poems published in numerous journals such as America, The North American Review, Rattle, The Mid-American Review, The Windless Orchard, Slant, Poet Lore, Potomac Review, etc. Her latest award is the Harry Hoyt Lacey 2013 Poetry Prize. Weitzman received a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her latest book, a children’s novel, Herman an the Ice Witch, was published by Main Street Rag.