6.08 / July 2011

Uses For a Uterus

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Let me tell you about the rat I keep in my uterus. He stores cotton balls, faux feathers, and little pink beads in me to make the perfect nest. I use these in my crafts. My uterus is squishy, and he has a fun time in there bouncing around and sometimes I have to bang on my belly to make him stop. It tickles but is awkward in public. He is quickened by cinnamon, and plays tricks on all my sphincters. I call him my pocket protector. In the mornings there are little rat marks on my thighs; somehow he gets out, but I always let him come home to my beaded plush cave. I would let you pet him, but he has claws and a tail like a real baby, even little milk teeth!



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My uterus is smart as a box of rocks, a bag of hammers. My uterus is a knife short of a full set. In my uterus, the lights are on, but nobody’ home; the wheel is spinning, but the rat is dead. If my uterus were a Happy Meal, it would be one fry short; if it were in a box of crayons, it would be the dullest. Once upon a time, my uterus looked in the mirror and asked to see the prettiest uterus in all the land and the mirror broke into a hundred pieces. My uterus is so fat it sat on a rainbow and Skittles popped out; so fat it looks like a baby’s in there.



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My uterus is a suitcase lined with layers and layers of soft pink organza decorated with little silver stars, and in it I pack my charms: a small porcelain lion, a bouncy ball, a pair of pink and purple striped socks (one has a hole in the heel), three of my mother’s poems about spoons, two sharpened pencils, mint bubblegum, pink flower paperclips, backup tampons, an acceptance letter, a vial of pink perfume, my diary–no! it’s my idea book!–and a picture of flamingos. my uterus has a little copper buckle that keeps all my belongings safe inside, and it smells of melted Bonne Bell chocolate pie a-la-mode lip gloss.


Jessica Dyer was raised and educated in small Indiana towns. She moved to Chicago to earn an MFA in poetry from Columbia College Chicago, where she also teaches first year writing. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Columbia Poetry Review, OVS Magazine, Arsenic Lobster and Ariel.