… is available to read online! It’s called “Breathe,” and you can find it here. I could tell you what the poem’s about, but this quote from my acceptance email works as its own best advertisement:
Although we publish very few poems by men, we liked this one quite a bit, and would be happy to include it in our May/June issue.Libby Maxey, Poetry Editor of Literary Mama
Can you keep a secret? I didn’t intend for this poem to be about mothers. I originally wrote it FOR a mother, as a fundraising tier reward, but I envisioned the narrator as a dad at first. When reading up on Literary Mama (they’ve got good stuff, I recommend We start this blank canvas and “Why she not need love Mommy?”), I revisited “Breathe” and noticed that, save a single pronoun, it works as a story about motherhood. And, depending on how you read the penultimate line, a lesbian mom at that! So now you have a poem to give friends on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, AND Pride Month. This is the kind of holiday synergy you rarely see outside of The Nightmare Before Christmas fanfics. Share the poem with your loved ones, as it’s the best kind of gift: thoughtful, unique, and free!
PS: The formatting of this poem’s lines and stanzas are essential to its meaning. The editors at Literary Mama preserved its shape, a tremendous effort I’m thankful for. By design, this shape only works on a desktop site, maybe tablet. DO NOT read the poem on mobile, because then it’ll look like a jumbled mess. More so than poems usually are, that is. Sorry if you’re on your phone and already read the poem wrong, you can try again here.