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  • Writer's pictureLammergeier Staff

Two Poems | E. McGregor

Because the Night

the morning I had an abortion

she came with me into the room

not at first but

when it mattered when

the poster of fluffy white

kittens taped to the ceiling over the place

where legs are spread and things

scraped out was too ridiculous to be borne alone

10,000 Maniacs doing Patti Smith

filtered down from the piped-in radio

and there was a moment of


hovering around quiet nurses

the doctor and the kittens

but the nicotine-stains on her fingers

are really all I care to remember

of the cells I once carried but left

in a stainless steel tray

that went where?

now, too late to take it back

I don’t wonder what might have transmitted

through that meagre puddle of blood and clot

I know

it was a gallant gesture to sever

the too-familiar fear before fixation could root

like a stubborn weed in thin soil

The Man With One and a Half Testicles

My cat is jealous of my long hair, keeps trying to

Eat it. Remember the man with one and a half testicles? She

Asks, gnawing on a braid. Yes, I say, but you don’t, your grandmother’s

Teats weren’t even full yet. Stop

Trying to distract me. Tell me the story

Anyway, she says. I unhook her claws from my throat. The man with one and a half testicles

Started out as a boy with two testicles. The boy with two

Testicles fell straight down a flight of stairs, landed on a foosball table, lost an

Even ¼ of his perceived manhood. The boy with one and a half testicles got caught

Smoking behind the grocery store, played doctor and

Lost in fifth grade, grew

Into the man with one and a half testicles, acquired a fondness for muted

Kaftans and thick sweaters, smoked loose tobacco, drank cheap Sake, played doctor with

Errant teenagers and won, associated with Cuban conspiracy theorists, fed neighbourhood cats

Sardines from his basement apartment window, died from a

Massive stroke

At sixty-three. No, says the cat,

Licking my temple, not

Like that. The man with one and a half testicles

Deftly rolls a joint with nicotine stained fingers. Passes it to the sixteen-

Year-old in a park where the grass is cut and sweating. The grass is cut and sweating,

Itching the backs of the sixteen-year-old’s thighs, leaving criss/cross\marks, making her skin

Nervous like ants are marching, burrowing into the milk fat that will never fully

Grow to muscle. The man with one and half testicles hands the fat cocoon of the lit joint to the

Sixteen-year-old with ants burrowing into her thighs. She opens wide, swallows it whole.

E. McGregor is a settler/Métis poet based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her work has appeared in Prairie Fire, Room, The Dalhousie Review, CV2, and elsewhere. Her first collection of poetry, What Fills Your House Like Smoke, is forthcoming with Thistledown Press in spring 2024.



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