How I Am Born

Susan L. Leary


Again it happened last night, 
that dream, where, we are hanging exactly where it occurred, 
though upside down, each other
and it’s there—the shelf, four steps to the right
of the bottom of the stair—as a girl, 
I counted, 
and then to ten, as by nine,
sometimes eight, I would have reentered the world  
carrying a can of soup or jar
of meat sauce, 
my back kept turned to what I know now to be your face,
but really
your hands moving, determining the shape of my nose, 
my eyes, 
then my scalp, 
tipped, what it feels like, 
toward you,
as you saw me before I ever was
in the moment just after—but really just before that, 
though it’s already done, and so eclipses
so brief—
this is how I am born,
as you imagine me into what will make me specifically
when you think, Ah, what have I done?



Susan L. Leary is a Lecturer in English Composition at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL.  Her most recent creative work appears or is forthcoming in Gyroscope Review, Clear Poetry, Steel Toe Review, The Copperfield Review, Antiphon, Dime Show Review, Cold Creek Review, Dying Dahlia Review, The Big Windows Review, Snakeskin, After the Pause, and elsewhere. 

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