Ode to My Ex-Husband’s Pregnant Girlfriend

Ode to My Ex-Husband’s Pregnant Girlfriend

She is not alone. Half 
that grows in her 
is half what grew in me, 
lack of blood on my lips
oiled hormonal wheels
that germinate holiness

And then the glee 
of life unaffixed 
to a creature mixed 
in the hot stew 
of our shared gore

Years back, I hold our nephew, 
I grin. I’m an aunt!
He is not your blood, he replies.
Sparklers against dusk
threadbare matrix of grass 
stamped with sweat
from cross-legged sitting 
for bursts of light in the sky

Morning, I have not slept well
thud of bed frame 
against radiator base
it bangs under our weight 
as the final day opens in our lives

Later, I jump in and out of the pool 
like a little kid, I yell across the blue,
Hey look—watch me splash! 
He lies behind sunglasses
in a long-brimmed cap 
under an off-white umbrella 
under the house’s awning, 
pushed back 

against a paneled wall. 
Feet on the deck 
I drip and drip— 
with what I do not know

New kiddos this year 
with Floatees on—
children I will never meet
and her belly gleaming, 
bobs in bright sun.

Emily Hyland’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Apple Valley Review, armarolla, Belle Ombre, Belletrist Magazine, The Brooklyn Review, Mount Hope Magazine, Neologism Poetry Journal, Sixfold, and Palette Poetry. A restaurateur and English professor from New York City, she received her MFA in poetry and her MA in English education from Brooklyn College. Her cookbook, Emily: The Cookbook, was published by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House, in 2018. She is a member of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and studies writing with Mirabai Starr. Emily is the cofounder of the national restaurant groups Pizza Loves Emily and Emmy Squared Pizza.

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