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.