Firstborn by Nicole Cooley

Who makes two into three. Who the dark unfastened
and let go. Who joins me again to my own mother. In
her glass bassinet, the baby is an exhibit of one, the baby
is lit from within, the baby has no language, so I lift
her up. I give her to my mother. Who am I speaking
to? You, dragged from me into life. You, whose body
opened to release mine. Who taught me the lesson: a
woman becomes her mother. Who taught me how each
body can reveal another. In the stories you read me, a
daughter stays a daughter. Lost in a forest, floor of dirt
dark velvet, inside a tower, encircled by rock walls. A
daughter is forever an empty corridor. Who taught the
magic: center stage, while the magician waits, the woman
flattens her body on a white bed. Trick accomplished.
The surgeon cuts the body in two, and a girl steps
out, curtsies to the crowd. The secret is the moment
when the daughter holds her own daughter, when the
mother stands beside the bed. The secret of this trick is
mirrors: mother reflecting daughter reflecting daughter
reflecting –



  1. Pretty poem. I like your new site, by the way!

  2. Oh, and I LOVE your book title!!!

  3. the entire book "milkdress" is so good, you should check it out! and thanks, i'm glad you like the blog makeover--i'm hoping this is good enough to count as a website lol ;)

  4. Mmm, lovely--also, I stumbled upon your poem in storySouth and just wanted to say I loved it! And in 32 Poems and on Literary Mama... you are just everywhere! :)

  5. Thanks Molly! I'm so glad you liked it!