Upon Being Asked if I Have Baby Fever


The first time you came inside me, my body

didn’t know what to do. My gut flooded


full with a water that poured out clean for days.

When Moses struck the stone a second time,


all the people still drank, but God hurled out

a new curse. The thing you need to know


about God is how frantic he is to be unknowable.

When my wife & I thought we were pregnant,


we exodused to the Grand Canyon. At its bottom,

a gray stream trickled over our feet. Our necks


grew stiff from craning back, sun-blind, surrounded

on all sides by what that water had done. Her empty belly


cupped in my palms, I divined names for our changeling

from the desert plants. Sage. Juniper. Nine months later,


we divorced, divvied up the DVDs & silverware.

Moses never did enter the promised land, the only reason


being that he thought he could force God’s hand,

thought that any old stone could quench his thirst.


On the cold porch, I am hushing your wailing son

while you sleep. Daddy, he bawls, Daddy.


He tries to wriggle out of my arms, stretching

towards your warm chest. I purr my love


to a child not mine, hum a lullaby

for this screaming sack of desire.

Brandon Thurman is the author of the chapbook Snake Handling (Quarterly West, 2018). His poetry can be found in Nashville Review, Ninth Letter, The Journal, RHINO, The Blueshift Journal, and others. He lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas with his husband and son. You can find him online at brandonthurman.com or on Twitter @bthurman87.