What Rough Beast | Poem for November 30, 2017

Emari DiGiorgio
Why I Do Not Want a Son

When the blood came a hot clot four days late,
I could’ve painted my lips, kissed every Trump supporter

I know. Lord, do not ask me to carry a son,
a white one, pink lips grabbing at my teat. A sweet mouth

I’ll punch when he’s failed me, and I him.
I’m grabbing rat poison, Ajax, a long-handled wrench.

In my first class, three boys cluster, pat each
others’ backs, debate the legal definition of rape:

if there’s cheap beer…. I’ll own the monster I am:
the man I love most has the jewel-tone eyes

of the Atlantic and freckled skin. And once I wanted to be
a boy. A white boy. Born with a carnal tooth, I’ve been

the girl hocking loogies through dugout fence, knew
how to send a ball screaming into the pocket

of left-center. When I, too, was driven into the dirt,
I did everything not to cry. Yes, I know, if a man

feels big, he’ll empty his wallet, give you the deed
to his house. I’m most afraid of big white men,

who lounge in easy chairs, ashing cigars in our hair.
But little white men are as dangerous, unable to see

through smoke and spectacle, the shimmering promise
this could be yours. I know. I believed them too.


Emari DiGiorgio is the author of Girl Torpedo (Agape, 2018), winner of the 2017 Numinous Orison, Luminous Origin Literary Award, and The Things a Body Might Become (Five Oaks Press, 2017). She’s the recipient of the Auburn Witness Poetry Prize, the Ellen La Forge Memorial Poetry Prize, the Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize, RHINO’s Founder’s Prize, the Woodrow Hall Top Shelf Award, and a poetry fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She’s received residencies from the Vermont Studio Center, Sundress Academy of the Arts, and Rivendell Writers’ Colony. She teaches at Stockton University, is a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Poet, and hosts World Above, a monthly reading series in Atlantic City, NJ.

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