Susanna as Madonna with Child


When I think of your sweet tooth
of the black and white tulips
growing on the cat’s garden grave,
how Flora felt swinging in my arms,
mouth open––Look at these two, you said.
It’s this moment I relive in the months
after you move, stop calling.
Our numerologist says
I have the true heart,
to gift myself flowers,
2021 will be a good year
for me to have a child.
You have to forgive
the mother
, she said.
I don’t know if she means
you, Susanna, or if I will feel
abandoned by any woman
who loves me enough.
Accept it and let it go.
I think the “it” is my body,
or the shame of my rolled
waist, every picture scrutinized:
does my neck look fat?
How I want to be seen
until I see myself.
Yesterday, a new baby,
whose name I know
because the internet
is a weird place where
you exist in the same
dimension, but as a stop-
motion movie set against
a rocky shoreline.
Won’t you wrap me
in a white sheet?
Cradle my too big
body, be self-
less again,
one more time?

Kelly Lorraine Andrews' poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Dream Pop Journal, Ghost Proposal, Ninth Letter, PANK, and Prick of the Spindle, among others. She is the author of five chapbooks, including "Sonnets in Which the Speaker Is on Display" (Stranded Oak Press, 2019), "The Fear Archives" (Two of Cups Press, 2017), and "My Body Is a Poem I Can't Stop Writing" (Porkbelly Press 2017). She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Pittsburgh, and she edits the online journal Pretty Owl Poetry. Additional information about her publications, along with a slideshow of her cats, can be found at

Kelly’s work previously appeared in October 2015.