two poems

by Micaela Walley

Birth of Eve inspired by Judith Schaechter’s stained glass “The Birth of Eve” When you broke through the womb, shards of glass scattered, unearthed your shriveled body covered in the gore of your mother which now left you chilled and stained. A world full of fruits—to pick and not to pick. Who would tell a hungry child not to eat when the pain hits their belly? God laid you in a bed full of flowers. The bugs crawled out of the petals, licked the blood off your new skin like peeling an apple back to reveal the sugared core. They buzzed around, whispering— One day, you’ll be told to ignore the desires of this body, sweet girl. This body is a gift. Sharpen that extra rib into a shiv, run naked through an orchard full of snakes. People will say your survival is the original sin. Ignore their narratives. Climb the fucking tree.   Lazzarone In the marketplace, men tie ropes around our hands— call them bracelets, beg for us to pay though we never asked for this bondage. My mother, my aunts, myself— No men stick around in my family. This doesn’t affect sales. We carry fruit preserves, each no sweeter than the other— apple, strawberry, lemon custards mixed with the blood of our fingers. We pick each seed out and toss it away, afraid of the growth that can take place inside a belly. In the marketplace, I am stuck filling jars, guarding my wrists— a part in this play I’m obliged to play, though there are no jellies. There is no wooden stand. My father passes me by, leading a bull by the ring through its nose. — Micaela Walley is an MFA candidate at the University of Baltimore. Her work can be found in Oracle Fine Arts Review, Gravel, ENTROPY, and HuffPost. She currently lives in Hanover, Maryland with her best friend—Chunky, the cat. Artwork by: Sebastian Voortman