Seagull

 
 
My husband has no idea I’m bleeding
when he walks in the back door and asks,
Why does it smell like a butcher in here?
 
Long relationships manage rare moments
of surprise, sometimes terrifying, but still
new, like the look on his face now. Blood
 
crawls from underneath me on the bed
like a root system. He takes my hands,
and as I wait for towels and shoes, I try
 
to recall the eleven-week fruit. I think fig.
Raised in a family lazy about religion—
Lord have mercy and Good God Almighty
 
were the extent of our prayers, uttered
for August humidity or thunderstorms
on someone’s front porch in Tennessee—
 
I hedge my bets by believing in miracles:
a seagull in the parking lot of a landlocked
strip mall. Since moving to the beach,
 
we feed these same miracles popcorn
from our fingers. Miracles on windowsills.
As my husband attempts to speed down
 
the sand-blown highway, I imagine a fig
weighs the same as this seagull’s heart
in my hands. I talk to it about the weather.
 
 
 

 

Kristin Robertson is the author of Surgical Wing (Alice James Books, 2017). Her poetry appears recently or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, The Threepenny Review, The Gettysburg Review, Harvard Review, and Prairie Schooner, among other journals. Winner of the Laux/Millar Poetry Prize, Kristin has received scholarships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and Squaw Valley. She lives in Nashville.