Endometriosis overwhelmed my body, pervading
the garden of my organs with its angry weeds.
Surgery came, and it reaped all that it could,
leaving me to feel the void, to water
the empty plots with my tears alone.
The world wanted me to be the gardener: to sow, to nurture, to tend.
The world expected my harvest.
Like Atlas, I held up the sky, shouldering
the cosmos’ disappointment as I fell short
of the way I’m supposed to be.
Perhaps someday I’ll forgive the stars.
Perhaps someday I’ll grow a flower, maybe two, in the garden of my worth.
Kara Dunford (she/her) is a writer living in Washington, DC. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in Brave Voices Magazine, Fahmidan Journal and boats against the current, among others. She serves as Poetry Editor for Overtly Lit. Find her on Twitter (@kara_dunford).