July in Uncertain, Texas

            The earth: I could swallow. When I couldn’t hide
my belly, I went down to Mawmaw’s. Loblolly pines massaged red
the roof of my mouth. Water-lily-bloom

            at the bottom of my throat, switchgrass unfurled
in the hollow of my stomach. I throbbed
against the swollen door, waited for Mawmaw to help

            tie my hair up. I couldn’t sit on the toilet
without pissing on it. Caddo Lake was loud, goddamn loud
while I sweat on the sleeping porch. A tupelo

            tree purred against the roof. Over my heart,
my breasts were gravel-filled. I want to tell her—her because
I’m carrying high, her because I’ve never been sicker, her

            because I always want buttermilk pie—the stories
that I remember. The myth of Spanish moss: dusky hair
spread limb-to-limb by blue herons—anger

            of that woman, both of us trying to escape
the hands of men that are always gutting, always grasping, always
open for more. There I was, vibrating like a Junebug

            from glossy china cabinet to dresser corner
to dinner table. I wore a pair of kitchen shears tight
like rings. My hair felt heavy: braided

            against a night without a moon, braided
with a water moccasin, holding up all the weight—you. My hair lit
up against the black of the bald cypress.

Canese Jarboe does not have a coat of many colors, but she does have a pair of cowboy boots in every color. She was born on a small farm on the cusp of the Ozarks. Currently, she is an MFA candidate in poetry at University of Idaho. Her poems can be found or are forthcoming in New SouthThe Adroit JournalDeep South Magazine, and elsewhere. Recently, she was chosen as a finalist for the 2016 Yemassee Poetry Contest and runner-up for the 2016 Sunken Garden Chapbook Prize from Tupelo Press.