Lavender Menace Considers Adoption in the Trump Era

I’m so American I close my ports

          of nourishment with a bit of bread

                  a bourbon, a burrito bowl, a nipple

a penis. I take in and in like oceans,

          our landfills. My belly and arms swell,

                  striate like felled logs. Consider

the common inclination to love

          into submission:                         “hush, baby.”

                  I do this for myself when I masturbate

to fall asleep. I have been a woman

          for some time now, a uterine cavern,

                  an acute sense of danger. I want

to be a mother unlike my own,

          and I am ashamed to think I think

                  so little of her

resilience, her desperate love of me

          I do not want to bear a child,

                  because I do not want to feel

never alone. I’m so American I dream

          of children discarded.

                  What happens to a child detained?

How many can I be a home to?

Cover Art by Stephanie Broussard

Maya Marshall

Maya Marshall is a writer and an editor. Author of the chapbook, Secondhand (Dancing Girl Press, 2016), she is also co-founder of underbellymag.com, the journal on the practical magic of poetic revision. Marshall has earned fellowships from MacDowell, Vermont Studio Center, Callaloo, Cave Canem, and the Community of Writers. She works as a manuscript editor for Haymarket Books and has served as a senior editor for [PANK]. Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2019 (University of Virginia Press), RHINO, Potomac Review, Blackbird, the Volta, and

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