Illustration: willow branches converging to an egg shape with a spiky center

At 16, I Experience My First Pregnancy Scare

the blue-green map lines of veins / dividing like
all things branchy—: neurons, trees, watersheds /
reach out for succor / from the warm wrist //
my body, folding in on itself, a fetal fractal /
the imagined child / blooming from my nether-
-self // he carved me a vessel, my becoming //
a body hollowed for him / he never served
my lifeblood // never poured elixing water /
over my unclean feet / like the creeks
which bathed my body as a girl // waterways
marred by man / girl, marred by boy, until
the blood runs cleanly down my thighs //
a slowly clotting waterfall of relief

Michaela Mayer is a 25-year-old kindergarten teacher and poet from Virginia. She holds a B.A. in English from the College of William & Mary and a Ma.Ed. in Elementary Education from the same institution. Her works have been previously published in Burning House Press, Mineral Lit Mag, Minute Magazine, Snapdragon Journal, Winged Nation, Perhappened, and Windows Facing Windows.

Branches illustration by C.B. Auder.

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