Empty Nest

Get away from her you bitch, Ripley yells;
Newt calls her mommy. Ripley becomes

pyromaniac mama, protecting her young.
Every time she cradles Newt’s fragile ragdoll

body, ovaries dance like they are young
and futile fertile, free to reproduce

like the rapid fire of her pulse rifle.
Older bodies fight confusion, play dirty

pre-gray tricks at the site of maternal.
Even as the xenomorph queen lays her eggs,

breasts engorge with imaginary milk.
As Ripley sprays the queen’s nest and each egg burns,

we think about loss and how even in the movies,
someone else decides whose children will live or die

and how choice is flammable and how some women
are happy to hand out matches, to watch

possibility burn. As Ripley grips Newt
and waits for Bishop, we watch the flames.

Kateema Lee is a Washington, D.C. native. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in print and online journals such as Naugatuck River Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, ROAR and others. Her new chapbook, Musings of a Netflix Binge Viewer, is forthcoming (Finishing Line Press 2018).

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