listening to my belly                                                                                         by Deborah Bacharach

even scrunched under
tucks and turns, layers upon layers,
it’s undeniable
              my belly does not ask
for organization, thriftiness
it’s a snugged-up litter of wolf pups
growling, yipping
             and I listen because
my belly knows things I don't know
warns me the guy on the train
when he offers a pull on the flask
and I am young, alone
            some days it sulks
demands ordinary sustenance
                                         dark hungers
if with a gentle finger,
you wrote your name across
              my belly would hum like honey,
promise to rise, promise more than enough
sky between the trees
not always right—my belly
                           does not believe
I unplugged the iron no matter
I haven’t ironed in ten years—but 
when I hear
my belly that too loud friend
call my name as she stumbles
across the crowded airport, there’s
nowhere to go but into her arms

Deborah Bacharach is the author of Shake and Tremor (Grayson Books, 2021) and After I Stop Lying (Cherry Grove Collections, 2015). Her work has been published in The Antigonish Review, Cimarron Review, New Letters, and Poet Loreamong many others. Find out more at Instagram @debbybach Twitter @DebbyBacharach

The Coop: A Poetry Cooperative’s Editor, Laura Lee Washburn, has selected July’s poems around the site’s current theme “We’re Speaking” to capture voices pushing back against the current attacks in the U.S. on human rights and on democracy. Citizens of Kansas have an attack on their state constitution on the ballot August 2nd on which we hope they will vote no in order to preserve the Kansas legacy of being a free state in which all citizens have bodily autonomy. We stand in solidarity with all people affected by current rulings from the radicalized Supreme Court.


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