Katie Manning


What I Remember


I am in a white room with white lights.
Before me
is a bed with white sheets.
My aunt has just given birth
to my cousin. I don’t see
the rest of the hospital or the rest of the day.
I can’t even see
the baby. I am just standing
in front of the bed, staring at the needle that sticks out
of my aunt’s arm. I never knew
in all my five years
you had to have a needle in your arm
to have a baby.
I can never be a mother.



It’s a Baby


Surrounded by balloons and cupcakes
in yellow and green pastel,
a friend with Down’s syndrome
puts his hand on my stomach
and asks, “What’s in there?”
“It’s a baby,” I say.
“A baby?”
He looks unconvinced.
“Yes, it’s a baby.”
“Oh,” he says,
and walks away to find his mom.

A few minutes later,
he finds me again across the room
and rests his hand
on my stomach.
“A baby?” he asks.
“Yes,” I say.
He smiles and rubs my belly,
so gently,
petting this baby
we don’t quite understand.





My belly emits
an irresistible force.
This is not
the usual
ferromagnetic kind
found in iron
or nickel.
This kind attracts
              I just have to touch it!
……….which comment silently
……….on my size
              When are you due?
              Girl or boy? Have you
              picked a name?
I would prefer
to attract
paper clips
or gaudy refrigerator magnets,
but they will not stick
to me.

Katie (25)Katie Manning is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Whale Road Review and an Associate Professor of Writing at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. She is the author of Tasty Other, forthcoming as the 2016 winner of the Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award, and four chapbooks, including The Gospel of the Bleeding Woman. She has also collaboratively created two tiny humans. Find her online at www.katiemanningpoet.com.

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