by Caitlin McCarthy
Hestia and I were both swallowed alive,
forced deep into the recesses of our fathers’ bellies,
left to wallow in that acidic, pungent darkness.
The eldest daughters reborn the youngest
once we were poured forth from our fathers’ gullets,
completely intact but never to be whole again.
Hestia washed away the bile, found a purpose,
existed as the oldest and the youngest without
becoming a burden to her siblings, to her mother.
I am left coated in grief, sick at the thought
that I could have gone with you into that grave,
stayed in your belly as you withered into nothing
while I remained blissfully whole. I am a piece now, a fractured segment of the daughter who found solace in the pit of your stomach, even in death.
Caitlin McCarthy is a writer existing just outside of Houston, Texas. She graduated in 2017 with a BA in English and is pursuing an MA in Teaching with Stephen F. Austin State University when she's not funneling years of pessimism and familial turmoil into words on a page.