“Negative kids is A Dog” by Chrissy Montelli

Unzip my belly-scar—cesarean a litter of pugs.
Cosset the smallest: she’s ours—hands quake
on the drive home while you papercut me

with names. We lego her crib out of newspaper
& shoeboxes, old washcloths—kinder than metal
or wooden bars. When it storms, you blanket-
swaddle her to your chest—our little girl. I iron

my lips together, think about parallelism: teething
rings & sink-baths, sewing stuffed animals
back together. We photoalbum my sonograms,

bury them between fabric softener & bleach. You buy
tennis balls instead of picture books. I pluck
feathers out of pillows on your side of the bed.

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