Adam Grabowski

Birth Day

I remember you naked from the waist down
the burn of your vagina in front of strangers
neck soaking through the back of my hand
screaming you were going to die.

You never looked so young.

Our daughter met the world as a pulse
of dark, wet hair and left the room nameless
in a havoc of voices.

I helped you out of bed
walked you to the shower.

Frosted glass between us, the IV in your arm
winding over the door and into my hands
I saw your shape begin to melt away.

The both of us silent as steam filled up the room.
Unblinking silence.


Naming The Child

For nine months your mother carried your hiccup to herself
shooting out the lights before she walked into each room

while I argued with every waitress
and lost a sock in the Atlantic Ocean.

I feel most like your father when my father leaves the room
or when your mother and her mother walk tired laps

around the maternity ward leaving us alone
with the scream of the muted television

your eyes flat and lazy in the dimmed hospital light
your lungs for the moment moist and quiet

throwing my own yawn back at me.


Adam Grabowski’s work has appeared in Off the Coast, Black Napkin, Voicemail Poems, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, and elsewhere. He received his MSW in 2012 from Westfield State University and is poet and organizer with the formidable Northampton Poetry Open Mic, where he runs a poetry workshop. Adam has been reading at far too many festivals recently, including the Massachusetts Poetry Festival and the New York City Poetry Festival. His latest chapbook, The Washing Our Hands EP, is available through his website Booking: He lives with his wife and daughters in Holyoke, MA.