Comment on Louisiana Birth

I show you the poem only because
there’s a surgeon in it

and because yesterday you tell me
you delivered two babies,

one C-section and one Va-, regular.
The firsts of your fresh residency.

I know I should ask, then, how you would
describe the scalpel on skin

with a scale of Butter Knife Gnawing
Through Baguette to Industrial

Precision Laser Cutter, but Hmmm
is no answer and Hmmm is what

you’d say. Forgive me for upending the probable,
for dwelling in foundationless imagination,

but, yes, you are right, the surgeon would never
use such imprecise terms like stability

or regulation even if there were a gulf
to be bridged between he and a rig-bound

roughneck. In fact, let’s just have the scalpel
stand in for the surgeon since medicine

is a profession of objects, and mine one of Professional
exaggeration. For the sake of an exercise,

consider this object: an umbilical stump
pickled in apple cider vinegar.

What I’m saying is that you’d grab the Pyrex
for pouring the dosage recommended

for vinegar, and I’d have my nose over the lid,
shut-eyed, scraping up some scrap of simile.


I Could Do It. I Could Ride Into The Gulf.

I could do it. I could ride into the Gulf.
I have my yellow and black Big Wheel
with its gravel-scuffed tires and the patience
of a plastic bag bolstered by wind.
There will be no need to brake.
No need to rake the porcelain water
with the topsides of my feet. I have all ten
toes and a feeling these seagulls know
something I don’t. There are mosquitoes
and there are these mosquitoes rising
from the sedge grass, plentiful as a lungful
of saltwater. You can see them swarm
and hover. Come on. Carry me.


Note: This poem’s title and first line is based on Diane Seuss’s poem “I Could Do It. I Could Walk into the Sea!” published in Court Green 14.

Originally from New Iberia, Louisiana, Nicholas Molbert now lives and writes in Central Illinois. He has work published in or forthcoming from American Literary ReviewChristianity & LiteratureCincinnati ReviewMissouri ReviewNinth Letter, Permafrost, and South Carolina Review among others.