Self Portrait as Chief Complaint

by Sarah Aronson


I stay with my mother in the waiting room
of the Juneau Public Health Center

to see about an abortion. The last night
they made love, my father anchored

his fingers in the sable-thick
of my mother’s hair and made me,

the minnow circling her interior. My brother
is not yet one and so tips onto his side

maneuvering plastic blocks and rings. Colors
unlike the milk-jade of this town. When the nurse

calls her biblical name, my mother staggers, breasts
heaving wet kisses beneath her sweater: fuchsia

and violet thistle-shades chosen
from the winter section of Color Me Beautiful.

SARAH ARONSON writes poetry and nonfiction from Missoula, Montana. Her work can be found in the High Desert Journal, Cirque, Portland Review, and Big Sky Journal among others. She is also the host of the Montana Public Radio literary program and podcast, The Write Question.