Poem: You Can’t Have Him, World (I Won’t Let You)

I have fantasies of being a mother to a beautiful baby boy

He has big brown eyes that look like honey

And soft, black curls that make me love him even more

In my mind my little boy is a little boy forever

He has a toothless smile and can’t pronounce his r’s

And his first word is “Baba”

In these fantasies my baby boy can’t grow up

Because the world will break him

The world will make him forget that he came from a woman

He’ll make mistakes he can’t come back from

And the world will say, “Boys will be boys”

If I let him grow, his toothless smile will become hard at the edges

He’ll forget how his mama raised him—

And be the first man to break her heart

So in my fantasies my son is untainted

His only struggle is taking his first steps

And the only time he raises his hands is to hug his mama

In my fantasies, the world will never have him

Because I don’t want to raise a man

Only for the world to breed him into a monster.