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A Decade Later, You Return to Your Childhood Home

No one knows the exact whereabouts

of the ovaries; some things we’re not

meant to remember. After your mom

died, you left your childhood home

for good. Ten years later, it’s intact

only in memory. We siphon slowly

through the city, watch the skyline

slide past. Crossing the Washington

Bridge, you’ve come home at last,

where some things we’re not meant

to hold. Tumors are most frequently

found in the ovaries’ epithelium.

Pressing hand to pelvic crest, I imagine

the incision, sutures. Steel instruments

easing each organ apart. Though this

is where we all began, no one wants

to return. Memory takes its retreat,

shuts the lights off, room by room.

Still, something stirs. Life’s germ shifts

imperceptibly—the future, a tiny, single-

celled fact, a body humming with secrets.

from Isako IsakoFind more by Mia Ayumi Malhotra at the library

Copyright © 2018 Mia Ayumi Malhotra
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Mia Ayumi Malhotra Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.