Two Poems

By: Sonia Greenfield

For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn

You think you know the story
but you don’t. My baby was born
tentacled. Four legs and two
arms taper to tips, a hybrid form
you might call freak, his cupid bow
lips harden like a beak just before
he cries. Golden hued, black slits
darken his eyes. I met his father
in a cave, but before the ink
could clear, all his arms were
pulling me near. Yet I wanted him
ever since I dropped into the deep,
my breath drawn from a tank,
him like shadows through water,
like dreams flowing through sleep.
So no shoes for this boy who reaches
up from my breast, his missing
hands blessed by every tiny cup
that puckers up and suctions a kiss
from my lips. His two tendrils curl
around my smitten face, but it’s just
like any other child’s embrace.




— (Greek pseudçs, false + kyçsis, meaning pregnancy)

Ghost, you turn slowly
in my womb. In a dark theater
I feel you stretch, pressing
down, you pock and divot
my skin when I see you
move. Then when I drive
you climb toward winter’s
weak sun against the windshield
as a lotus launches its prize
from underwater stems.
The ultrasound tech waves
her wand and claims you
don’t exist, her screen
a scene of empty
but every month I carry
your dark hair curled wet
against your head, your eyes
closed against the red galaxy
you spin in. You who I will
never see but who will
also never leave. You cleave
to my ribs and hang like
fruit on a vine, how my
belly has grown around
your secret gift, girl
eternally internal
and ever unknown.


Sonia Greenfield was born and raised in Peekskill, New York, and her book, Boy with a Halo at the Farmer’s Market, won the 2014 Codhill Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in a variety of places, including in the  2010 Best American Poetry, Antioch Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Cimarron Review, Massachusetts Review, and Rattle. She lives with her husband and son in Los Angeles, California, where she edits the Rise Up Review and co-directs the Southern California Poetry Festival.