hannah craig





The insurance will not cover birth-control. It doesn’t matter, anyway, when I will not conceive. When I maintain my status quo. When the insurance company believes I should be pregnant. When men in their uniforms believe I should be pregnant. When they place their stickers on me and call maintenance and walk away. When I walk into a glass room and they cannot see me because I am not pregnant. When I am pregnant and it must be hidden. When I am still waking up not sure if I am pregnant or simply full of water. When I have been, in my dreams, a moon, a little lake. When I hear bells ringing and bells ringing. When I know I have no right. When I know I destroyed it. When there is no insurance for my soul, and no profit but whatever I can grow, myself, in this small lot, and sell to make my fortune, to prove any worth in the growing.

Called up, my name, my small name bare before the room, the new rubber ball in my belly bouncing, announcing rhymes on each downbeat. A shadow decorates the wall, invigorates the doorway, sinks into the carpet—after today there will be an additional strand of gray in my hair each day until I begin to think of razor blades as friendly, until, when I come to you, when I say something, my name is mud and means nothing and has come to stand for nothing.

Why am I so proud of my name? I have never walked with the feet of heaven. I have only been like white tea in a white jar. Why do I want to wear my name like a badge, as if it contains meaning, as if it was not bankruptcy around my neck, poverty in every tic of my finger? They call me to the table, me and all my ancestors forced to resign, my mother in the songs of a glory barn, and revenge tactics, and a dead sister. Why am I so proud why am I so proud why am I so proud?