The woman who replaced me
in your bed wrote a poem
about the time she pressed
her body against your back.
The dolphin she carried fluttered
within its membrane and swam
to you, tattooing “Daddy”
with tiny flippers onto the arc
of your spine, but you jerked
away as if you had not willingly
sent your DNA into her
fertile folds, where it prospered.
After your divorce you wooed
me again. Your voice was husky
with bitter beer, August grass,
cigarettes. You confided
that your child lived somewhere
north, with strangers. I divulged
that children were my precious hope.
And, as quickly as a pharmacist
might split pills, you said goodbye.
I shrugged, unsurprised.
Peggy Turnbull lives in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Her work is forthcoming in Muddy River Poetry Review, the Wisconsin Poet’s Calendar, and the Such an Ugly Time collection by Rat’s Ass Review.