I’m Afraid Of What She’ll See In Me by k.p.fen

after Sreshtha Sen

in another life, my hand grips my belly, 
my other hand an extension of my cell 
phone, lights flashing in my pupils. 
nine months will be preserved in my 
phone’s gallery, waiting to be posted 
in a carousel. five years pass by and 
i smile at my daughter circling on a 
metal horse, bobbing to calliope songs, 
my camera too slow to capture the 
motion. for a moment: it’s 1994 again 
and i’m my daughter riding around 
a fixed point like hair swirling down 
a shower drain. there is a Halloween 
party: i’m Snow White in a homemade 
dress that will never be worn again. i eat my 
cupcake as tears roll down my ribcage and 
other children laugh. my body’s been discarded 
from the umbilical cord but i still remember 
to call home every night, my mother’s 
mouth too fast to capture the words. 
my hand grips my daughter’s, my other 
hand an extension of my cell phone,
lights flashing in our pupils. 
i don’t know if i’m smiling but my 
daughter looks up at me and says, 
it’s okay mom, i know you get sad sometimes. 

k.p.fen (she/her) is a Filipina-American poet, engineer, and mental health advocate who resides in New Jersey with her loving husband and cat. Her poems appear in The Post Grad JournalNew Note Poetry, and her first self-published poetry book And All Things Fragile. Find her on Instagram at @inkdroplets.