December 19, 2014


Molly Kiefer Sutton

                                    The order of marine mammals that include dolphins,
                                    porpoises, and whales.

I believe I epitomize


at my acupuncture appointment today.  My               sciatic nerve

            is furious, bleating out small shards of pain.

The doctor said, You must be one of those women who get as big as a garage.”
            It’s an interesting image:  baby-as-car,
                                                            humming until winter-warm.

But I prefer W H A L E,

            as it forgives my all-over         enormity, allows me
to feel a bit peaceful,              imagining myself as enclosed in water too.

That word:  obese.                    A hook to hang me on. 
(Obeisance) (Obedient) (Obliging)

The doctor does what he does,

                        moving his work-chapped hands along my bare back,
            stopping to punch me with his little contraption.

It isn’t enough that he left me bee stung,                               so many needles,
            but I’d pressed my stomach and breasts into any space left for my lungs

and here goes the table with its                      lift       and fall                        lift       and      fall.

Molly Sutton Kiefer is the author of the hybrid essay Nestuary (Ricochet Editions, 2014) and the poetry chapbooks The Recent History of Middle Sand Lake (Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press, 2010) and City of Bears (dancing girl press, 2013). Her work has appeared in The Collagist, Harpur Palate, Women’s Studies Quarterly, WomenArts Quarterly, Berkeley Poetry Review, Southampton Review, and Permafrost, among others.  She is a founding editor of Tinderbox Poetry Journal, is a member of the Caldera Poetry Collective, reviews for PANK and The Rumpus, and runs Balancing the Tide:  Motherhood and the Arts | An Interview Project.  More can be found at

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