The doctors performed oracles,
while my mother was a paper bag.
Their instruments, like phantasms,
plunged inside for The Answer.
In the L&D, they mistake me as he-matite,
in the radiology unit, bare a howlite
which rises from her center
into her throat like light or truth,
a diamond knot sifting as coalpowder
through a daughter’s hand.
Joey Belonger is a queer transfeminine educator and candidate at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. They are the recipient of the Hicks Prize in Poetry and the Goldgar London Fellowship. Previous work has appeared in Tropos.