| words that get in your teeth

It Might Be an Accident – Jen Gayda Gupta

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It Might Be an Accident

slip of the plastic T that guards
my womb, a zygote stronger
than fear, might happen before
I have seen the monkeys tightrope
electrical wires, eaten
the smelly fruits, felt the cold
temple floors, the gentle pull
of a cotton skirt behind me.

It might come out unfamiliar
and dripping cement, a slow leak
onto my feet, might glue me
to the carpet, its pattern ugly
and circular and burnt under my eyelids
as I pretend a moment of sleep.

Or it might forget a fire
in my uterus, melt me
from the inside out till I leak
lungs and liver, till I am stuck
to the hardwood, waiting to be
peeled off like dead skin.

It might come out talking
or crying accusatory sounds,
might scream that I smell
selfish. I might forget to write
or think or feed us.

I will want to carry it
in one large backpack, leave behind
the singing bathmat, the spoon
in the shape of giraffe, all of us
naked and cold and in search
of an airplane or legs that don’t

crumble. I might let nature
mother it, let the trees brush its hair,
let the mountains lift us closer
to wherever we came from.
Might let new countries teach it
new words on new days of the week.

I might find a whisper of seconds
tangled in the wisps of hair,
minutes tucked between the fingers.

It might be okay.

Bio – Jen Gayda Gupta is currently on the run from responsibility, living nowhere at all with her husband and their dog. She enjoys big mountains and tiny spoons. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Dodging the Rain, Jellyfish Review, Sky Island Journal, The Shore, Wrongdoing and others. You can find her @jengaydagupta and jengaydagupta.com.

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