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Two Poems // Eileen Winn

Updated: Jul 19, 2019



Why Has My Father Made Me?


Because there was nothing else to be done for it —


Because there were fields in the suburbs to tend, and garages

to sweep every Saturday, because who else

will ruin the rough carpet?


Because he knew we’d all have blue eyes—


Because the Lord knows His math and the Lord told my father

to stay far away from fruits and multiply,

because he wanted to make real an icon

of his own son-self, because there were times

crying in his own little crib that he vowed to be a better father—


Because without a second chance, how can we redeem

our first failing?


Because the original sin was not great enough,

because there is hubris, because there is a blind faith

even in a tangled genome—

Because he did not see

(even with glasses, then contacts, then lasers)

what was to become of us—


Because even if he had pulled four young boys

from the ether and raised them, he would still

want more—


Because no matter how many children he had,

he would feel barren and even then

he would not know his fields are salted,

only that what he plants does not grow

even though he thinks the dirt

tastes good



Ready as a Root


This spring I miscarry something

smaller than an olive

more ancient than a pit

and thank goodness

for it, whole natural artifact

of no ones invention


This spring, all my friends

are pressing themselves,

finding oil in the well and rejoicing,

breathing full and pregnant petals

out through noses in their sleep,

whirlybirds a-floating,

heaving peony sighs


This spring, there are tiny deer,

small enough for calm white spots

and to call them dappled,

strumming over underbrush and learning

how to lean their knobby knees

to drink a river bend


This spring, I am the deaf observer,

curled up bird fetus slick inside the egg,

too small to use my white tooth,

my teething beak, to break any kind of shell

And so I don’t become the shell either


Instead, something slips between my legs

like viscous water,

like a slack of seaweed spent

without the help of sun,

like something you’d bring to your mother

in cupped and worried hands

before she’d tell you, “Honey,


it fell out of its nest,

there’s not a hope for it,

please wash your hands

and quit your crying,

there are tables to set

and the sun’s coming up.”


Eileen Winn is a queer, neurodivergent, agender writer and poet from Cincinnati, Ohio. Their work has been published in Rose Quartz Magazine, Orpheus Magazine, and at Purpled Palm Press (forthcoming). They are fiercely devoted to their cats and their purple pens. They can be found on Twitter as @weirdmuseum.


Image by Maja Dumat

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