Baby’s First Word by Leah Tieger

Eat more, daughter. More
A mouth without a stomach
I clamp my teeth against
the hand that tries to feed me
Stubborn hangar and the airplane refused
a short and slender spoon
Eat daughter. Survive the life
you never wanted. The spoon waits
at my lips with her question
More? You are the ghost of the child
we prayed for
I’m belted to the plastic seat
More. Little mimic, my noetic lie. I speak
from the opposite of hunger
Leah Tieger lives in a house with more windows than walls. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, Pleiades, Carolina Quarterly, Redivider, and other places.