No One Can Give You What You Take From Yourself

Alicia Jo Rabins


Not the eye hanging from the window, concentric circles of blue and white.

Not the beer bottle standing at attention.

Not the baby inside you.

Not the midwife with her capable broad ass.

Not your mother your father your husband your first lover.

Not me reader.

Nor god.

Not the life insurance policy you bought last year

although its statement arrives in the mail

eleven days before you are due to give birth

as if to say you are no longer the person you were a year ago

we were betting against your death but


Not the check in the mail.

Not even the check in the mail.

Nor the baby who moves inside you now

rubbing the back of his head against your organs

as if to say you are the person you have always been

you have been born before and soon you will again

so congratulations mother.

Congratulations son.

Congratulations for what you know

to be true, that what you are missing

you contain, that you can give it back

to yourself and that I, too,

contain everything I need

in my mysterious stellar

bundle of body and breath.