h o m e........
p a s t   i s s u e s....
s u b m i s s i o n s....
l i n k s

 

 

...............
AMY GERSTLER


.............
THE FETUS’ CURIOUS MONOLOGUE

My tail was longer than my hindlegs
not so long ago. I remember the Flood
several Ice Ages being covered with fur
chalk beds trilobites giant ferns
a scaly monstrosity crawling out of the sea
croaking a great surprise awaits you

Will I too grow fins? feelers? an elephant’s trunk?
Cheerful to this hour, afloat in my private ocean,
I plan to make a grand entrance,

howling in molten dialect, Even the sea’s spooky depths
shall not alarm me for I am already sunk!

The life of darting shadows, the deceptive surface
of the world—I shall see right through
to the seaweedy bottom. I will not be fooled!

The body’s hinges itch.
Gill slits ventilated my neck
until yesterday.
A newfangled monster,
now what will I breathe?

green lipped mussels
horseshoe crabs
coral and snails
waterworms

all sing of unalloyed joy and reciprocated lust—
proof of progress, proof that evolution
is not just erosion, proof chiseled from limestone quarries
of womanly virtue (ageless patience, the warp and woof
of heredity’s tireless loom),
proof we do not really die
when our brief terms expire

My pink lungs are mutated
swim bladders of fish.
A solitary wasp of consciousness
buzzes in my head while below,
the usual two room shack,
a bi-chambered heart is constructed.

Someday I will have a scarlet hat and a ring,
perfect pitch,
a longing to be admonished.
Torn from the shores of immortality
I’m due to wash into the world soon,
wearing the face of a retired opera singer
mid-aria, famished and squalling.
I’m a festival of cells.
My blood’s as rich as Christmas
punch. Was I a horse thief in another life?
A blasphemous priest? What were my crimes?
What have I done to deserve to be bottled up thus?