Allen Forrest, Palos Verdes, CA, House (oil on canvas panel)

Our first baby grew no larger than a grain of rice
puffed from the heat,
curled like a pinky on a writer’s hand.

They said it was gone before it left
my body and sent it home with me like a grade.

We went to a diner in an old trolley car.
I had tea and toast:
the provisions of sickness.
The city streets stretched out before us
like so many long equations.

I thought of my womb as a cul-de-sac
where a child would ride
her tricycle
in that rotation of nearing home to pass it.


Nicole Greaves