Romans 8:13 by Madison Dorsey

Read More: A brief interview with Madison Dorsey

Romans 8:13

For if you live,
if the umbilical cord doesn’t wrap
around my throat too,
I will live you out,
keep you next to me,
suck fleeting fleeting fleeting air in through lungs
to fill my falling chest.

According to my flesh,
my skin was pink and plump.
The nurse scrubbed off the blood and fluid
and rested me in Mother’s snug arms.
We still feel you there.

You will die.
Mother closed your blue eyes. Eyelashes
brushed her palm.
She held your cold body against her chest
and pressed her lips to the top of your head.

But if by the spirit,
She sees you next to me,
miracle baby.
The same dark hair, olive skin, but bright eyes.
I wrap my whole hand around her pinky.
Grin when her spilling tears kiss
my blotchy cheeks.

You put to death the misdeeds of the body,
Every year on August 13th.
I will try to box myself in that coffin,
see if it was fit for me,
instead of you. It wasn’t, but

You will live,
through me.
I still feel you here.
We found a home
in poetry. Both alive nestled in its arms,
and drinking its inked milk.



Madison Dorsey is a sophomore studying at Jacksonville University with a major in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She has previously worked as the Poetry Editor and Community Engagement Manager at Élan, an international student literary magazine.  Dorsey’s fiction and poetry have also appeared in Élan, The Aquarian, and placed in the top three in the Young Authors Competition with Columbia College in Chicago. Dorsey wants to thank her parents and her teachers, Ms. Flaisig and Mrs. Melanson for all giving her the space to cultivate her voice. She is very excited to have her work in Sequestrum and to have this poem among such a high caliber of art.

Read More: A brief interview with Madison Dorsey