Once I grew inside my mother, feeding from her body, taking what I wanted for myself. I was cut from her, pulled from her split skin like a cicada leaving its empty husk. I’ve always wondered if this is why she never thought I was hers, looked at me like she wasn’t sure where I had come from. I ate from her body once, but never by her lifting me in the crook of her arm, clasping me to her breast, never by her saying here, take what I have to give you. She did not leak milk at the sound of my cries. She fingered the scars on her belly, watched me from open doorways, told herself I must have been a part of her once, surely I had been inside of her. I grew in my mother, and through her, and away all in one sticky, pitiful moment, and now when she says this is my daughter, it sounds like a question, and I say this is my mother as if I am saying this is the cup I drank from once, this is a house I lived in.
Anna Sandy is an MFA candidate studying poetry at Georgia State University, where she also teaches English Composition. She is the current Editor in Chief of New South, and her work can be found in SFWP The Quarterly, Sun Star, Santa Ana River Review, Muse/A, and others. She lives in Atlanta with her fiancé and three cats.