Failure     The Mother of ______ by Jennifer Givhan

Under the blanket of hard packed
dirt under cacti     cane cholla & palo verde
under the wake of miscarried days
aborting my entire family under the waterless
storm     electric clouds against white sands
under the holes & pricks     those spines
bloodletting under the massive weight
under the repressive touch of my lover
under my bra strap under my legs
the child unletting herself again & again
from under my damnable body
god under it all under all I love I am so alone
& under my loneliness I tumble down
where the río swells as a balloon begins to rise
Jennifer Givhan is a Mexican-American poet from the Southwestern desert. She is the author of Landscape with Headless Mama (2015 Pleiades Editors’ Prize) and Protection Spell (2016 Miller Williams Series, University of Arkansas Press, forthcoming). Her honors include an NEA Fellowship, a PEN/Rosenthal Emerging Voices Fellowship, The Frost Place Latin@ Scholarship, The 2015 Lascaux Review Poetry Prize, The Pinch Poetry Prize, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best of the Net 2015, Best New Poets 2013, AGNI, Crazyhorse, Blackbird, and The Kenyon Review. She is Poetry Editor at Tinderbox Poetry Journal and teaches at The Poetry Barn.