In a group of girls heading home
from a day trip to the city,
the one with the biggest shopping bag
also has a boxer’s nose
and the shadow of a bruise
under her left eye.
I’d like to show her the Polaroid of me
beaming astride a rented grey pony
on my sixth birthday,
and say nothing.
She can already see
how my shoulders hunch,
how I flinch sometimes
even at my lover’s touch,
how some things change
and some do not.
Higher Primates & Certain Bats
This might seem rather disrespectful.
In fact, it’s sibling rivalry at its evolutionary best.
You see, mother and fetus
have quite distinct evolutionary interests.
The mother wants to dedicate
approximately equal resources
to all her surviving children,
including possible future children,
and none to those who will die.
The fetus wants to survive, and take as much as it can get.
Found in Susan Sadedin’s answer to the question,
“What is the evolutionary benefit or purpose of having periods?”
Elizabeth is an Irish-American writer and photographer with a passport for each country, and a horror of being told to choose between them. Her poetry focuses on diasporic living, the myth of memory, and trying not to care if her family reads it. Her photography is reactionary-interested in how things are staged and textured in the world as we live it.