Jennifer Givhan

Tasseography of Pregnancy After Miscarriage



I keep trying to read the tea leaves greening
the lukewarm belly of the mug—

instead I keep ingesting them.

                                                Every time
I think I see a pattern or a pattern thinks it sees

me, doglike dragon slipping fish down its throat
or moon-eyed sailor with albatross sails,

I swallow & the world floats a moment
lighter under my skin. The beloved

will hide knowledge he should share.
Or a dire warning: I am on the correct path.

Jellyrope fastens the bloated leaves as
they swim to the surface, splaying

themselves for public view like a new tattoo.

O mustard-yellow vessel I’ve become,
dappled robin’s egg, circular globe:

predict the outcome of this improbable existence.

Jennifer Givhan

Jennifer Givhan received an NEA in poetry and a PEN/Rosenthal Emerging Voices fellowship. She won The Pinch Poetry Prize, the DASH Journal Poetry Prize, the Blue Mesa Review Poetry Second Prize. She was an Indiana Review Poetry Prize runner-up, and an Andrés Montoya Book Prize finalist. She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College, and her work has appeared in over ninety journals and anthologies, including Best New Poets, AGNI, and Sugar House Review. She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson and teaches poetry online at The Rooster Moans Coop, and you can visit her at