Published on April 6th, 2018 | by Samantha Barrow


Split: Poems


After Weaning


My tits feel like corpses

or rather

split logs after tree


I’m feeding my body to the fire

to service s’mores

& hang ash


After pulsing with light

and shade

living sap all abuzz

like it or not


Sticky gooey painful



A singular firework of

immense god


Welcome to your new






She split my lip

with soft persistent fingers

nails the size of one hundred grains of coarse coral salt

Making me look like I took one on the mouth


there is some hard kissing at home


It is a pinker shade of violent domesticity

that stings, awkwardly gaping

in the produce isle

straining to not

split back





Parenting is good for me


Tears of joy

well up and close in my throat

like vomit

from an unending wilderness of

ocean of


with grand echoes of

Yeah, we know

            we’ve seen this before

            little buoy


This is a job — if any other — I would

have been fired from


No one gets to give such awful

job performance

again & again and keep the title and rags


But this one

these kids

just keep popping

right the fuck back up

like weeble wobbles


Smiles, needs and all impatient


impossible timing


To claim me

& make me try again






Photo by m kasahara / flickr creative commons license

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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.

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