At Squire Point

Julia Anna Morrison

I remember I have a child, vaguely
He wears a raincoat, tiny pine trees on his sailor shoes

I will have to give him away, very slowly
when winter comes. First one night a week, and then two.

Stars on one ceiling: fishes on another

papa is asleep, I say.
I will always want to touch you I said when he left me.

It won’t happen all at once, he said.

First the closets of his winter coats. I braced myself.
It’s a million little things: his skin, the tongues of his shoes

I should have never given birth. I feel a color
he left in my stomach when I am alone, a shovel mark

At quiet hour I hear his papa and I talking before he was born
Our childless voices, our love over the water

But these woods are made of dry paper;
I was right; I could not give birth without losing

Now he asks if I will be his mama
For all of the time

If those are leaves falling down off my orange shirt. God,

what blankets will I choose for his second bed. Are the trees
against the windows safe.

Once I lost my glove in a city. Somehow it matters then
That I was in love and this had never happened.


Julia Anna Morrison's work has recently appeared in Ploughshares and Bennington Review. She lives in Iowa City where she teaches screenwriting and co-edits Two Peach, an online poetry journal.