freligh_womb_500Algebra 101
There’s X and there’s Y, those star-crossed variables, exuberant arms yessing the heavens in their crazy equation in front of U and every 1 causing I, upright and uptight, to whisper to fat, unpopular O: That X, she’ll spread her legs for any 1.

Sure enough, I has X’s number: Y goes into X exponentially and will, depending on how many times you leave the 2 of them alone in a dark room with the door closed. But Y is not constant: C Y get bored. C Y 4 sake X to enter into a more challenging equation with Z.

U already know the answer: X minus Y equals heartbreak.


The Topography of You

The elevation difference between adjacent contour lines, called the contour interval, is selected to best show the general shape of the terrain. A map of a relatively flat area may have a contour interval of 10 feet or less.

Yes to the padded bra.


Film Studies: Animato

One by one, the smiling sperm swan dive from a cannon into a body of water where they must swim for their lives through a narrow isthmus and sperm by sperm, they drown in tiny peeps of sound until one last sturdy sperm remains, hardy survivor, swimming on as the music swells, and we stand and applaud—go, sperm, go!—nearly in tears as he arrives, triumphant and exhausted, at the round white island of the egg.


Sex Education: Q&A

  1. Most men want to own a new car, body sleek and undinged by use, an accelerator so sensitive that a touch is enough to set the speedometer quivering. Those lines, those curves! Who wouldn’t drool at the prospect of getting his itchy fingers on that ignition?
  2. But what man will buy a car without a test drive? A quick trip around the block, say, or a slow tool down back-country roads just to get a feel for how she handles?
  3. Most men don’t want a used car


Film Studies Revisited: Birth Control

The sperm should look like Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Better yet, let him rise from the swamp, fly-eyed and covered in scales, a tattered hole for a mouth. Put an ax in his hand. Let him stalk the egg through the upper stacks of the library, in the basement of the sorority house, on the dimly lit path of the arboretum.

Run, egg, run.


Great Books

Five nights straight, you stay up late under covers with a flashlight reading Valley of the Dolls because your ninth-grade neighbor has promised the book will make you hot and bothered and in fact it does get you a little lukewarm, particularly the passages detailing “hard maleness” or “male hardness” (used often and interchangeably), but mostly it makes you bothered because everyone sleeps around, yet only the women get fat, old, addicted, pregnant, or dead, while the men sail on, constantly hard and eternally male.

Scream, egg, scream.


Sarah Freligh is the author of A Brief Natural History of an American Girl, winner of the Editor’s Choice Award from Accents Publishing, and Sort of Gone, a book of poems that follows the rise and fall of a fictional pitcher named Al Stepansky. Sad Math, the winner of the 2014 Moon City Press Poetry Award, is forthcoming in November 2015. Other awards include a 2009 poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the Constance Saltonstall Foundation in 2006.

Photography by Laura Frantz