Carrie Penrod


Sometimes, I wish I could be born
again. Not like a born-again Christian,
or a born-again virgin.

Because this isn’t living, this thing
that I’m doing. It’s surviving––
or, trying to survive, trying to put
the pieces back together so I don’t always
cut people into ribbons the minute
they say hello to me.

I wish that I could crawl back inside
my mother’s womb, try coming two weeks
early this time, try to not hum
when I took my first breath––
try to remember being born covered
in blood, my mother’s blood.

My ribs are sore, but I’ve been holding
my breath since she stopped––
being anything other than carbon
and blood.


Carrie Elizabeth Penrod is a recent MFA graduate from Mississippi University for Women. She currently resides in Indiana with her cats. Her writing can be found on Button Poetry’s Instagram, Prometheus Dreaming, Anti-Heroin Chic, Sad Girls Club, and corn stalks.