The Side Show of Birth

Amy Barnes               I give birth to the longest baby ever on the longest day of the year. 144 inches. A gross of a baby. A gross baby. Six hundred people pay a nickel to feel my still-distended belly and listen to me grunt and strain so they can take a closer look at this […]

Clothesline Number 9

Amy Barnes               The sun dries my paintings where Mama can’t see me. I’m supposed to be doing chores but instead I’m painting bedsheets with no-name cheese puff dust, with day-glo orange fingers because brushes cost money.               For once, it’s not our underwear hung there for the whole neighborhood to see and point and […]

Dr. Audubon Will See Me Now

Amy Barnes My therapist is a bird woman. When I arrive, a caged parakeet sits in her office. Carrier pigeons arrive and leave with rolled-up charts. The walls are covered with large framed bird prints. Rows of bottles filled with beige seeds march on window-sills. The hunched woman who leaves before me clutches a bottle […]