By Cameron Conaway
Pregnant women are “four times more likely to contract and twice as likely to die from malaria than other adults.”5
I Want To Go
I want to go in the moment
before going in. The concrete
wall seems grayed with knowing.
Ear pressed against the grain
hears the cold simmer of silence
then the boom and echo of flood
in throat. Sound chokes me. I go
in to see brown babies breaking
in their voices. Where walls meet
a young boy plays with shadows
and over and over kisses the static
outline of his mother’s pregnant belly.
Her temples show no trace of voice
in veins and in that moment I go
and somehow come to on all fours.
I reach, dip my hands in what was
a river, now dried to open scabs,
taste the wink of wounds under scars.
Maybe my eyes are closed. Life still
needles through the water and I run
cupfuls of absence through my fingers.
About the Author
Cameron Conaway is the Social Justice Editor at The Good Men Project. He was the 2011-2012 Poet-in-Residence at the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Thailand and the 2007-2009 Poet-in-Residence at the University of Arizona’s MFA Creative Writing Program. His work has appeared or been reviewed in ESPN, The Huffington Post, Rattle, Teach Magazine, Möbius The Australian, Cosmopolitan and the Ottawa Arts Review, among others. His first book of poems, “Until You Make the Shore,” was released in Winter 2013 from Salmon Poetry. For more information visit CameronConaway.com.
5. Malaria Consortium. The Challenges. Pregnant Women. http://www.malariaconsortium.org/pages/malaria_challenges.htm#Pregnant_Women