I’m pregnant again. This is what I do:
get knocked up and not follow through.
Have you seen my uterus? How could I stay mad—
all that pink and crinkle. She tries. She tries.
This is the fourth time. A blue window in my hand.
It appears like a word and then I pray.
At least I was happy yesterday. I finished the pie.
What happens does. That’s how it is.
I could find another uterus. Another bed.
Cry in a Mexican restaurant. Cry on the pier.
Pick a fight with my mother. Instead,
I find the quietest crook in the house.
I turn off all the lights. I watch the nearly full moon.
Don’t you get it? She wants nothing from me.

Hala Alyan is a Palestinian American writer and clinical psychologist whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, in The New York Times, Guernica, and elsewhere. Her poetry collections have won the Arab American Book Award and the Crab Orchard Series. Her second novel, The Arsonists’ City, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in March 2021.