The Human Genre Project

Three Poems


Hunger sends us seeking its cheap white thickness,

forces us to leave her, two days old, incubated

in neonatal and stand in the parents’ kitchen.

Fluorescent lit, pokey, we embrace the closest thing

to home, busy ourselves separating slices, re-washing

plates. I take two squares of butter from the fridge,

warm their foil corners in my fists. Fear rolls in my shrunken
gut, watching you, wanting our sad mouths to kiss.

You spread, cut and pass me a golden triangle,

the oily joy of it leaking onto fingers. We suck it down

into machinery that made her, wondering where the fault is.

Severe Ebstein’s Anomaly

Her heart uncurled,

unfolded into four

but was clover

with an unlucky lobe,

the rarest of anomalies

that flourished to defeat her.

Room in a Hospital

No tabloids, no vending cups, no debris

of the bored and hungry. Instead

carpet, fireplace, neat homely items.

This is not the room where you wait for news,

this is the room where you are told it.

At the coffee table, the doctor hunches

to draw a heart. It needs time from his pen,

crossings out and a white space

where the valve won’t meet.

The heart is thirty six hours old and hers.

Perched on cool leather, we puzzle the sketch,

my husband takes his glasses off to cry.

Our daughter warrants a new vocabulary,

we are struggling to learn it.

Rebecca Goss's first full length collection is due with Flambard Press in 2010.

Rebecca Goss