The first time I witnessed my son’s boner,
I gasped, then pretended not to see it,

proceeded to help him into Spiderman
underpants as he looked down

and laughed. This was not
what I had in mind when he

grew through me and out,
an enigmatic ball of my fragments

somehow forming a living thing that
wasn’t me but was, pulled from my body

like an amputated internal appendage,
and now I sometimes can’t stop myself

from imagining my lovers as their mothers,
phantom limbs of  fragmented women

who’ve, like salamanders, regenerated
penises, searching for a way back in.


Marissa Stephens is an Atlanta native. She currently studies poetry as a graduate student at Georgia State University, where she also works as a writing instructor. She worked under poets David Bottoms and Leon Stokesbury in creative workshops and has been published in Aurora, Voices and Visions Journal, and The Elixir (in which she won first place for poetry). She writes to be read, but also to explore science, religion, and life as it relates to the woman.

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