She-Wolf & other poems.

Words by & illustration by Višnja Mihatov Barić



If you were ever incarcerated and sentenced to death by starvation, I would be your Pero

and endow you with sustenance.


Jailed plebeian, I would nourish you. I feel my milk let down as I write this.

Pin needles of ecstatic pain gushing to joy and relief.


If you were stranded sick and starving in the corner of a barn, I would find you,

hold my teat to your lips, and feed you like my own children.


This is the kiss of life— no mere write-off. My largesse is a hand-out I most willingly

contribute. Even Juno suckled Hercules.


I fattened Romulus and Remus, hid them in the Lupercal den. I have even fostered

orphaned bear cubs when their own blood has failed them, though no one writes of this.


I express to you oblation! For what is life if not radical kinship? If not competent at

giving, at sharing each lick and drop of cream?








—for Sahar Dofdaa


watch that hollowed body fight for air

memorize her translucent skin the death in her eyes


imagine her parents just out of frame

hearts carrying rubble of a life they made for her


is there a phone number we could call

food money we could send to a sane civic leader


in Kigali they used machetes

they called her family cockroaches until they were gone


in Srebrenica they dug mass graves

Ratko and the Scorpions heaved her father inside


in Asperg they took their fingerprints

and sewed brown triangles on her mother’s uniform


in Auschwitz they gassed her in showers

next to ethnic Poles, the disabled and freemasons


in the mindsight of my inner eye

I smell this baby’s scent my milk lets down to feed her


listen now to Radio Sada

from Damascus on an app we can download for free


baby girl are you still hovering there

does your precious soul throb to the same rhythm as mine







Push My Button


“What would a yin utopia be? It would be dark, wet, obscure, weak, yielding, passive, participatory, circular, cyclical, peaceful, nurturant, retreating, contracting, and cold.”—Ursula K. Le Guin


If I designed weapons what would they look like

would they be dark, fertile wombs

wet, tongued-polished caverns

obscure incubators of milky, vibrant aftershocks

would they be attached to the mothership with umbilical cords

each fat boy yielding, dependent upon its vessel

one thing is certain—they would not be hot


would we kill the enemy

with kindness

nurture them to death

how can you injure someone with something you birthed

and repeatedly fed from your breast

some women acclimate to the male metaphor

strapping on phalluses whether they wear dresses


or pantsuits, submitting to the limitations

of a destructive framework

today’s geopolitics shoot dicks through the sky able to

deeply penetrate the eye of a needle or the asshole of a camel

from thousands of miles away using nothing but a grimy joystick

in a darkened room, boy toys of vertical erector launchers,

thrust-to-weight ratios,


soft lay downs, weighing the benefits of protracted versus

spasm attacks, and final releases

loads in orgasmic wallops

one thing is certain

the button to trigger my weapons

would be tiny, retreating

and difficult to find


you would have to yield to me

and every resident before receiving the go-ahead to even see it

never mind touch it for it to ignite

ideas and growth

food and nourishment

you would have to please me to play with

my weapons of mass conception


the midwives


keen ones wake early

bear witness

boil water

hold legs

rub  backs



keen ones jog walk dogs

smile and nod at each other

witness the sun crown its head

over earth’s belly

silence gives way to birdsong

birdsong to footsteps

footsteps to tires

bikes to cars

darkness to light

colors emerge timid at first

then crying full-lunged

pink ruddy red wet alive


keen ones use their hands

brush aside cowl

lining amniotic sac

slip fingers between cord

and tender neck

and just like that

day catches breath

Amy's work is featured in Friends Journal, Califragile, Every Pigeon, apt, and more. She is a 2016 Willamette Writers Kay Snow Poetry award recipient for her poem “About Face.” Her current work examines the world as it labors through a difficult rebirth.