Echidna, your name came up at a party.
Well, really before the party—
when 2 mimosas deep with 2 hours still to go
before a tide of guests rolled in,
the topic turned to breeding.
Which is more or less synonymous
We’re talking about whether or not they want children
& just like that I need another mimosa,
probably 2, if this is what we choose
to fill the void.
I keep saying 10 years, then ten years pass. After 10 more…
it won’t be an option anymore.
I tell them I can barely keep myself afloat financially,
why make things worse?
Which is really just the tip of the iceberg,
but all I can give them without ruining someone’s night
with the reality of what birthing a Black body means
in this country.
I can’t tell them I know women
who’ve had their children snatched away,
how this is just a quaint colloquium
for point blank
They would never understand
how easy it is to die
if someone considers you a monster.
But I don’t have to tell you that.
Juliette Givhan is a Black poet who writes about myths and memes. Her work appears in ANMLY Magazine, Change Seven Magazine, Two Hawks Quarterly, with forthcoming poems in Pidgeonholes Magazine and baest Journal.