In this group of poems, Michelle Y. Burke takes on the subject of pregnancy with unexpected anxiety and a keen sense of the uncanny (which seems a necessary, if not often narrated, part of having another being growing inside you). Burke's poems eschew a pre-scripted narrative of pregnancy in favor of a more Alien one. Of having two heartbeats in one body, she writes, "A thing should be one thing or another. Not both/and." This group of poems is less Miracle of Life and more brooding, to use the author's word. Burke explores all definitions of brood: as a noun for children and chicks; and as a verb, to hover over or think anxiously about. To be in a state of depression, even. By invoking the Narcissus myth, Burke engages the selfishness of the desire to have children without denying the work and worry that goes into it. Cheeky and irreverent, this author can't explain "why I love you like the chipped mug I'll never throw away (unless it leaks)"; to her characters, even conception is just a shared surprise.
"Such activity is familiarly described as innovative writing. Writing that cuts, as it were, back into writing’s past, enacting an incision and removing textual flesh as if from a living organism. Such removals from the textual past serve to challenge previous accomplishments as well as a challenge to contemporaneity to graft a new syntax onto the textual body. Effacing it while performing necessary infusions..."