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BellaOnline Literary Review
Lady Butterfly by Joann Vitali


False Positive

Wendy Russ

You sat with your back to me
your curly hair quivered almost imperceptibly
matching the shake of your voice
as you whispered that your test was positive.

That tiny egg,
new human trying to find its way into the world,
starved to death as it clung to your meager walls
while you starved yourself nearly to death
in an attempt to be someone else.

Repeatedly I declare you are beautiful.
But all you can hear is your motherís voice
long distance asking
how many
how many pounds
nights of sleep have you lost
dreaming of who you could be
instead of who you are.