Stories to Read Aloud to Your Fetus

Stories to Read Aloud to Your Fetus

by Alina Stefanescu

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In search of a new epistemology to address the fetus, poet Alina Stefanescu draws on her experience as an immigrant from a totalitarian country to probe the body’s most ineffable borders. Her story-poems acknowledge the complexity of the female body— and the fertile terrain between its possibilities and vulnerabilities. An intimate geography of the relationships between female bodies and their babies, whether bourne, born, or unborn, these are the tongues kept silent in polite social circles. These are the women no one talks about. These are our mothers, sisters, wives, neighbors, and lovers. This is life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635343021
Publisher: Finishing Line Press
Publication date: 10/06/2017
Pages: 110
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.26(d)

About the Author

Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania and currently lives in Alabama with her partner and three opinionated mammals. A multiple Pushcart nominee, she is the author of Objects In Vases (Anchor & Plume, March 2016), Letters to Arthur (Beard of Bees, August 2016), and Ipokimen (Anchor and Plume, November 2016). Her debut fiction collection, Every Mark I Tried On, won the 2016 Brighthorse Prize. More online at

Table of Contents

Stories to Read Aloud to Your Fetus: An Introduction

Practical Magic

Avian Years 1

I Don’t Think We Should Use Words Like Meadow Anymore 2

Before He Fertilized Us 3

For the Man With a Truck, A Memory 4

We Thought You Were A Flower 6

Before the Demographics of Me Married 7

The Fetus That Wasn’t a Boy 8

The Baby Not Born on a Train in the Arcade Fire Song 9

Man Watching Woman Waiting 10

In the Waiting Room of Stretch Marks 11

Our First Easter 12

Counting on You 13

Boys Riding Stallions

A Special-Purpose Fetus 17

Dragon Gets a Nose Job 19

Dragon Does College 20

But How Did He Look When You Told Him? 21

Woman Waiting Near the Mobile-Home Window 22

Lunar Epistemology 23

The Fetus Who Purred 24

Girl Watching Patriots Build a Ball 26

Ode to Pure-struck Cowbell 27

And G-d Bless America 28

The Farmer’s Wife 29

Girls Wandering Alone Into Forests

How to Speak Poetry in a Neon Forest 33

Inventory for Good Relationships 34

It Was Not the Right Time 35

Letter to the Midwestern Artist 36

Not Black on the Ultrasound 38

One Refugee to Another 39

Staring Problem 40

Carpathians 41

I Could Not Explain the Abortion Without Referencing Smaller Things 42

Yellow Mama 43

Terrorista 45

How Much I Love Your Father 46

Why I Like Complicated Positions 47

Free to Choose 48

Zmeu 49

Happy Endings

Lullaby for Baby Dragons 53

While All the Handsome Princes Sleep 54

The Legendary Fetus-Kick Off 55

Adjustment to Ancient Legend 56

Great Idea 57

The Myth We Invented Because You Shivered 58

Post-It for a Partner Who Travels 59

The Story Grandma Will Never Tell You 60

Number Games 61

Trucks Kids Count 62

Psalm 63

Homelands, Pantries, Hallways 64

Four Children: A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure for Grown-ups 65

To You Whom I Fail 66

In My Mother’s Pantry 67

Your Mommy, the Mermaid, the Dragon

Dragging the Mermaid Ashore, Her Hair in My Fist 71

Moon We Can’t Take Back 72

The Letter Under the Sierra Club Magnet 73

Pew Dragon 74

You Said I Could Be Anything 75

Purple Martins 76

Does Each Shoe on a Grasshopper Constitute a Miscarriage? 77

My Head Is a Harbinger 78

And Eternity 79

Fruit of My Loins 80

Muffin in the Oven 81

All Those Love Notes Swarm Like Insects 82

To My Lovers 85

Instructions for the Man That Married a Dragon 87

Wherever We Wander 88

Change Your Name, Forget the Adoption 89

Sunset In the Graveyard Where I Cut My Hair for Birds to Build Nests 90


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