Diana Woods Summer/Fall 2021 Issue 19

A Message to My Mother in Morse Code

You asked me how it felt, my belly swollen with cramps and emptiness. Those were the cold-spark days when winter kept us huddled in bed. You were worried about how much pain I was in, but I had no answer to give that didn’t end in blood, so I turned my head due west and pondered the slice of sky framed in the window [. . .]

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When I checked the clock again it was 5:16 a.m. I would get up in less than an hour. And I would have to stay alive until O, our five-year-old, was eighteen. When you don’t want to live another day, thirteen years is an impossible amount of time to fathom. In the half-light, simple math and insomniac logic can lead to infinity. [. . .]

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Your Rapist has Famous Parents

You are with your parents when you first meet him. You are on vacation, a spring break trip to a big city you are going to live near next year. You are seventeen, and certainly, you look it, if not younger [. . .]