Necessary Parts

Laura Cranehill

Necessary Parts

When I was young, I imagined love
to be a serious thing.
Like peeling a potato without cutting yourself.
A triumph when you are small,
a habit when you are old:.
concentrating, and being still.
And, like love, when you are finished,
the discarded eyes and skin
those unnecessary parts
are gathered into a little heap,
and pushed down the garbage disposal.

My beloved, love
is not so serious, and not so disposable.
It doesn’t matter what the ropes
and pulleys of your body
are made of. Collagen or muscle, metal
or electroactive polymers.
I love your soft skin,
and the skin that shines.
Your eyes
the cells derived from an embryo,
and the other parts
woven between
The connective tissue
of your biological
tear ducts. The iris,
a drifting mixture of receptive dyes,
a synthesis that makes you

Only one part
is solely flesh. The closed loop
of your abdomen,
and the womb.
The parts that are necessary
to expand.

Blood travels
through a natural woman’s
total body, then feeds and breathes
for the fetus. The baby
learns and relearns the entirety
of the mother’s being.
The baby is in the mother, and the mother
is in the baby.

When she comes out, will she know me

The optic nerves attached to retinas
are cut short at the other ends.
These are not the only parts of you
made to go nowhere.
But, lawfully
man cannot make a thinking personage
of only biomatter. It’s dangerous
and terrible
for humans to approach too close
to the domain of gods.

But I am not the only one to say
if there is a god, then it is in all of us.
You stretch out on a bed
in pain from the swelling
that pushes against the inflexible
ligaments in your pelvis.
We know that sometimes
because of this
the baby will not grow.  
But that doesn’t mean
we can’t hope.
Your thermodynamic conduits
perhaps a little too hot.
The fibers of your wet hair
like daggers against your shoulder blades.
The mirror in your retina
flashing like a cat’s
hiding in the dark.

We expect too much of ourselves.
All mothers are afraid, all mothers are unsure
if they are worthy.
That is what makes you human.

She will know you.
Love is not so disposable.


Laura Cranehill is a writer based in Portland, Oregon. People give her strange looks when she wears T-shirts in 50° weather, but that seems pretty warm after surviving the long winters in Michigan. At least she doesn’t have to trudge out every morning to see if another of her chickens froze to the ground overnight. She’s been published under several aliases in multiple venues, including Eclectica, [PANK], and Mirror Dance, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Editor’s Note: The image is a combination of a female robot image (Wolfgang Eckert from Pixabay) and a baby crib (PixelSquid) with colorized background.

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