Published on January 9th, 2015 | by Samantha Barrow


ROCCO: Boy Child Poems from THE BOOK OF BREEDING by Samantha Barrow


H E   W I L L   R E M E M B E R   N O N E   O F   T H I S


I call him Fatso

Little Rocco No-Neck

in my sweetest tones


like I am shaving

head to toe

the new pledge

who passed out

at my frat party

and filling his mouth

with whip cream


I wipe under his balls

pick his nose

pass him off to some nice

stranger so I can eat my dinner

with both hands


I put my boob in his mouth


I sing Baby Beluga again

and again

in funny accents

while bouncing


            you swim so wild and you swim so free


Perhaps he will develop

an unflappable


to whale watching


Rocco with boob

S P O R T S   C A R S


Fertility bounces up

over my nursing top


My nipples have moved

from object to subject

no longer the passive

gazed at, represented

spoken for, museumified, painted

unconsented ad reps for bottles

of Presidente, Mazdas

Gyros, Software, Baseball

They are action figures

themselves now


come to squirt out hunger

thirst, loneliness


They talk back

speak when not spoken to

demand easy access

to the outside world

barely contained in this bra

with the one handed flip latch


They want to drive this convertible

with the top




T H E   U N B O R N


My name is Ruby

I am the one

who lost

I am the one

you flushed

I am Rocco’s twin sister

that will not happen



we’ll never know


My name is Ruby

ironically so

Aunt Ruby, blood red

many facets

none possible

I am the dark shadow

in the corner of the dream

where the jolly jumper swung

empty to be reabsorbed

in the hollow



swings and yanks, Rocco

laughs and jerks, Rocco

takes up all the space he needs

in the giant romper room

now his and his alone

Not enough room

for the two of us, BITCH

He—round-faced and red-blond

like a fat Conan O’Brien—

squealed like Beavis

as he kicked me



my teeth

already beginning to dream

of opening mouths and sinking

into bananas

jumped ship into his head

his jaw is filled

with little white pods

too many

too early

as I dissolve


into the shadows


sam n r black sweatshirts

These poems are culled from an ongoing series titled The Book of Breeding, which will become an actual book in the future.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

Samantha Barrow writes poems and some prose while directing the Humanities in Medicine at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at The City College of New York, and teaching in the Program of Narrative Medicine at Columbia.

She is the author of GRIT and tender membrane (Plan B Press), Jelly (a chapbook, Tiger / Monkey Alliance), and Chap (self published).  Her poetry, prose, reviews and interviews have been published in The Ledge Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia City Paper, Off Our Backs, Lesbian Nation, Feminist Review, The Intima, Cleaver, Helmet Hair and two Uphook Press Anthologies: “you say. say.” and “Hell Strung and Crooked.

One Response to ROCCO: Boy Child Poems from THE BOOK OF BREEDING by Samantha Barrow

Leave a Reply

Any comments left on this article will be sent directly to its author. We do not at this time publicly display comments. (If you want to write a public post about this article, we encourage you to do so on social media). We love comments, feedback and critique but mean or snarky comments will not be shared and will be deleted.  

Your email address will not be published.

Back to Top ↑
  • Subscribe to Mutha

    Enter your email address to subscribe to MUTHA and receive notifications of new articles by email.

    Email Frequency