Kelly Kapowski Unplans A Pregnancy

If I could do it over, I would — thing is, I wanted this.

Prom, I mean. That’s what the fluttering told me.

He showed up at my house because I couldn’t afford

a dress. He stood in my living room, halo pinned

to his chest, some kind of teenage savior. Teeth, blushes,

and perfect brows. In the car, I rolled the window

down, let the electric wind blow through my hair.

He put his hand on my knee and I felt the thrill

of pinprick all over my skin. I didn’t have a dress,

so we kissed on a picnic bench outside the school gym.

We could hear the DJ and all his slow jams. We danced

underneath the security lights. A hundred monarchs swept

behind my knees, over my head. Now I wonder, little heartbeat,

if this was all part of the plan. Whether it was his plan or yours.

I thought I was the only girl blessed by the fluttering, the promise

of blue skies and life among clouds of delicate wings soaring

through that electric wind. The gym and its echoing slow dances,

so distant and small. Halos are a tiny glitter from this height.

And now, I see I was covered in moths the whole time. Burdened

with want, a relentless journey for the moon or anything like it.


Born and raised in rural Nevada, Rachel Ronquillo Gray is a Kundiman, Pink Door, and VONA fellow. Her work appears in Hyphen Magazine, Tahoma Literary Review, Digging Through the Fat, Radar Poetry, and other places. She
currently lives, writes, and makes food in Bloomington, Indiana.