I cut denim out from waistband to inseam
then sewed a piece of stretchable fabric
in its place—my new maternity clothes.
My mother said I'd spend my life in support hose,
wear pink polyester waitress uniforms that pick
up smells of cheap coffee and canned pork and beans—
after she told me that if I’d really been raped
like I said, I'd never go anywhere near a man's bed
and certainly wouldn’t be pregnant at sixteen.
But she forgot about how a girl who's scraped
her knee will place a palm on each side and press:
because small pains close by making big ones hurt less.



Jessica Ramer is a second-year PhD student at the University of Southern Mississippi. She has published in Merrimack Review, Haibun Online, and What Rough Beast.