Kelly Schirmann


All my life I write the same song
& all it wants to know is will there be more
On our last morning together
I sat in your lap & watched rap videos
from that era in America
we all thought would be endless
But then the war started
& I turned sixteen
& stood alongside my mother
pawing at my reproductive health
& now here we are, let loose
to scrape some feelings together
about desert-specific intersections — women,
& needing a drink of water
I want my belly to shake
like hers shakes,
I kept saying
which was only the fantasy
of taking refuge in my own body
while wearing white spandex
only white spandex
with the rugs of my youth unfolding
& the coins scattering
at my belly’s altar
Which opens like a flower to you
Which never stops opening