The Second Person

By Rikki Rodgers

You get pregnant, drive to the clinic, clutch

your St. Christopher pendant.

You've been told to go to the one

on the street where the tree branches touch in the center.

You drive face-up, waiting for the canopy to close.


You struggle parallel parking and are unsure

of how many quarters to put in the meter. Inside,

a woman wants to discuss things first.

Her hands press and part, fingers lace and unlace:

this is the church, this is the steeple

and when she opens it up so you can see all the people

she is already leading you out, fist full of prayer and pamphlet.


You call your mother and she tells you that today she saw herself

in a store mirror and thought—for a full five seconds—

that she was looking at another woman who looked

exactly like herself. Her sight, she says, is becoming so poor.


Rikki Rogers lives and writes in Silver Spring, Maryland. She earned her MFA in Poetry from the University of Utah in 2009, and her poems have appeared print and online journals including CALYX, So to Speak, The Los Angeles Review, and The Rio Grande Review. This poem is part of larger work, entitled "Domesticities," which explores how we learn about sex, love, and relationships in the architectures of school, home, and work.

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