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flying the coop 

I am no longer counting out my chickens
before they hatch remembering well when
I was spatchcocked on a table and
the ultrasound technicians basting me
couldn’t decide if I had twin yolks or
if my body was cooking up a hollow egg

they say you’ve got to break a few eggs
to make an omelette too late the batter
curdled so I spent a year split and spilling out
the weeping one in a dozen but
for all the walking I did I couldn’t
kick the eggshells out from underneath me

don’t wonder about who happened first
you can go ahead and put all the eggs
in my basket only I will not be carrying them
have you ever seen a hen without its chick
have you ever seen a chicken lose its head
or its heart?

swimming lessons

start the day screaming
mouths wide wanting & I
am the hand that feeds

my nose is in the milk
spoiled or spilt then it is time
to burn breakfast

bad luck—today we all have fevers
& runny noses


find that someone is shedding skin again
always something
being outgrown

on Saturdays we go
to swimming lessons
toss treasure into chlorinated water

      children sinking like precious coins
      we close our eyes
      & make a wish

at home, find the oven left on high
coffee pot gone cold &
half full

we can’t say with what


Rachael Inciarte lives in California.Their first chapbook, What Kind of Seed Made You, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in 2021. They are growing a garden and it is thriving. Find them at

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