When my mother told her husband she was pregnant

by Annalisa Hansford


he said he wanted a son. My mother, a daughter.
Now they have neither. I gave up my fate
years ago. I don’t believe in luck, or coincidence,
or destiny, but I do believe in promise.
How easily it can be broken.
How quickly it can be forgotten.
My mother begs me not to change my name.
I don’t. Not because she asked, but because it’s
all I’ve ever known. My father wonders
what color my blood is (he thinks I was
born differently, defunct) I tell him nothing.
I tell him diamonds flood my veins the way
rust fills yours. I was once nothing too.
Yet I prayed and I prayed and I turned into
a breath. That breath now speaks to you,
lingers like a deceased soul in an empty
hallway. All this glory was once dust, you
know. All this being was once unbirthed,
you know. My heart thanks its creators
every day, the sun and the moon. They
are the only parents I’ve ever known.



Annalisa Hansford (they/them) is a freshman at Emerson College. Their poetry has been longlisted for Grindstone Literary’s 2020 International Poetry Prize. Their work appears or is forthcoming in The Rising Phoenix Review, Poetic Sun, The Hearth Magazine, and Blue Marble Review. In their free time, they enjoy listening to indie music, rubbing their dog’s belly, and eating vegan ice cream.


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