On Receiving Bad News

By 
Mallory Tater

We, women, grew hungry, ate
from a pile of unassuming, pleasant rocks. They fell
down our throats, slipped into the blankness of our bodies.
Some of them cut our throats. We wrote most things in life
that were sharp and so we said it was our fault. The rocks
I sucked and swallowed, little still insects I sent
to my body, to heal myself from the stomach outward,
back into the world if I could digest. We dared each other to digest.
I hoped the rocks could venture to my toes, give me the dull ache
of a stance. Maybe the earth has an answer and we don’t ingest it.
I hoped I’d choke up these pebbles one day when I need to hear
my own voice, when I need to remember the weight of being
a woman, of being. We ingested all we could beside a lake
with no name, no cabins dripping off the shore with their loud
wealth and wood. It was five o’clock and dark. No one was watching.
No one was watching us fill ourselves and live.
Once we filled ourselves, we swore we’d live.

Mallory Tater is a writer from Ottawa pursuing her MFA in creative writing at UBC. Her work has been published in PRISM InternationalCV2The Malahat Review, and Poetry is Dead. She was shortlisted for Arc Poem of the Year in 2015 and placed third for the Bristol Poetry Prize. This poem is published as part of the No Comment project.


More Writing from the No Comment Project

No Comment by Alessandra Naccarato
Erase and Rewind by Meghan Bell
White house, where some family lived upstairs by Chelene Knight
Loyalty and Violence by Ruth Daniell
Burning Bridges by Joelle Barron
Penknife by Ellie Sawatzky
for play by Kayla Czaga
back, cover by Elaine Corden
Sex Work Solidarity as Healing by Amber Dawn
I Was Once That Girl by Jen Sookfong Lee
On Receiving Bad News by Mallory Tater
The Disappearing Woman by Leah Horlick
Boys Will Be Boys by Dina Del Bucchia
Nicomekl River by Claire Matthews
Knowing Better by Anonymous
Monster by Mikiko Galpin
Reframing the Montréal Massacre by Maureen Bradley
Testimony, Part X by Anonymous
Broken Heart Emoji, Crystal Ball Emoji, Stars Emoji by Kyla Jamieson
Bits by Carleigh Baker
Metamorphosis 6: 401-674: A Paraphrase in Still Pictures by Annick MacAskill
black pearls by Jónína Kirton
Not Yet by Juliane Okot Bitek
Sei Turni (6 spells for #CanLit) by Amber Dawn

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  • Room vol 40.2: Our Rubble, Our Loss
    Room 40.2, Our Rubble, Our Loss
    Edited by Meghan Bell

    In this issue:

    Carleigh Baker, Leslie Beckmann, Isa Benn, Alison Braid, Maggie Burton, Ava C. Cipri, Kayla Czaga, Ruth Daniell, Leanne Dunic, Tanis Franco, Andréa Ledding, Tanya Lyons, Kim McCullough, Amber McMillan, Nav Nagra, Sarah Nakamura, Zehra Naqvi, Annmarie O’Connell, Eva Redamonti, Amanda Rhodenizer, stephanie roberts, Emily Schultz, Idrissa Simmonds, Mallory Tater, Erika Thorkelson, Debbie Urbanski, Susan E. Wadds, Laurelyn Whitt, Irene Wilder

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