Mother of Monsters

juliette givhan


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

with monsters.


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

choke hold



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.