Fly Cotton Chapbook Series 7
When Was My Anger Conceived?
The summer of assassinations?
By the man-made lake? A hole
so shallow and muddy, all the men
held hands, formed a human net and
walked toward each other to the center
to feel for some kid who might have
gone under – there,
on its shore, in the Kodak, me,
in my little terry cloth bikini,
all round as the moon stomach.
I’d worn a Batman mask attached
by a thin rubber band all summer,
my hands fisted, the nails bit crescents
in my palms.
The summer of my menarche? I stood
against the lazy Susan in the kitchen and
watched the President resign on the small TV:
I cried because of the cramps and blood,
the garter belt biting me. My mother said
we’d never see this again and she was wrong:
even married to my father,
she couldn’t predict the depth
of a man’s rage.
A year after my abortion?
The clinic three stops down
from my dorm, three quick stops
on the Green Line, and no one shot
there yet but escorts needed, one pink
set of rosaries flung at my face.
That year, the year of Ferraro, my aunt said she wouldn’t vote
that menstruated, could get pregnant,
could bear a child.
Jennifer Martelli is the author of My Tarantella (Bordighera Press), awarded an Honorable Mention from the Italian-American Studies Association, selected as a 2019 “Must Read” by the Massachusetts Center for the Book, and named as a finalist for the Housatonic Book Award. Her chapbook, After Bird, was the winner of the Grey Book Press open reading, 2016. Her work has appeared or will appear in Verse Daily, Iron Horse Review (winner, Photo Finish contest), The Sycamore Review, and POETRY. Jennifer Martelli has twice received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant for her poetry. She is co-poetry editor for Mom Egg Review and co-curates the Italian-American Writers Series. jennmartelli.com
Copyright © 2020 Jennifer Martelli
Cover design by d'Entremont
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review or scholarly journal.
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