“Boulder County, September 2012” by Michele Battiste

Michele Battiste


a gold microfiber couch may not have been the most practical
choice. There’s always a mess somewhere and a five-year-old
everywhere and a leak and a draft and bacon grease and glitter glue
and seriously? During my parents’ first visit from the swamps
of mid-coast Florida and the 100-year flood? Because my timing
has always been wretched and I never go far enough in malady
to merit bed rest and isolation.

Four days prior: This might get you all the way through to menopause

Because nothing cheers a woman more than a bridge to shrink
the distance between fertility and fallow womb, unless it’s a reasonable
manifestation of Catholic retribution: of course God will punish
me for sexy sex though I supposed his smite would less resemble
a small, copper coil dangling from my cervix and appear more like

Or a flood. Because, really, shouldn’t everyone
in Boulder County suffer for my liberated orgasms, not just
my somewhat flustered 54-year-old boyfriend weathering nasty
texts about vasectomies and speculums and cramps.

Four days to wait to see if the clinic can fit me
in on Friday, and there’s no moral or clever ending. I’m just sad
it will never again make sense for me to want a baby.

from Rattle #51, Spring 2016
Tribute to Feminist Poets

[download audio]


Michele Battiste: “As a white, heterosexual, divorced-but-dating, suburban, middle-class mother who works from home raising money to support healthier school food and volunteers on the school garden committee, I often feel like a very un-radical feminist. An ineffectual feminist. A feminist who, 21 years after her life was changed by reading Cixous, can’t believe the traditional class and gender roles she now embodies. It’s easy to lose sight of the small, undetectable and countless acts of feminism I enact throughout the seeming banality of my days. The small, domestic world of my feminism is reflected in my poetry, and my poetry continues to be based on a foundational concept of second-wave feminist writing: the personal is political. I explore power dynamics, sexuality (albeit often heterosexual), objectification of the other, and basic women’s rights such as safety from violence and reproductive choice through strategies that attempt to anchor abstract principles in narrative. Narrative is a powerful political tool. I am a powerful feminist when I use it.” (website)

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