Barbara Costas-Biggs

When We Were Young

we bought things like violas without a second thought.

We had lost weekends in Nashville
or our tiki-ed out backyard, no regard

for hangovers.  No need for baby
monitors.  We wore bathing suits. My skin

did not need nightly Retinol. 
When we were young I didn’t feel

so dusty, so slow. Now, I am planning for
a hysterectomy. In bed, you say 

things to me like, You don’t have to prop
your breasts up like that to make them appealing to me.

There’s no reason I shouldn’t believe
you, but I don’t.  When I lie on my back

and my breasts slide down to my sides
leaving my chest flat,

I feel nothing but old. Laden.
It doesn’t matter what my body has done,

it matters what it does not do any more.

Barbara Costas-Biggs is the 2017 winner of the Split This Rock Abortion Rights Poetry Contest. Her work is forthcoming or has appeared recently in Glass, The Coil, Riggwelter, MORIA, JARFLYDodging the Rain, Bird’s Thumb, District Lit, Literary Mama, and others. She lives in Southern Ohio, and can be found online at, and sporadically on Twitter @bcostasbiggs.