By: Tamara Nesbit

My lover likes to lay his head on my belly, braving internal squees and borborygmi, and unfazed by my breathing or the occasional turning of a book page. Perhaps it’s because…  my being well over my “ideal weight,” it makes a nice squishy pillow.

My belly is my center. It’s where I feel things. It’s what I press my fingers against when I’m nervous. It’s where I rest my hands, one at the top, one at the bottom, in a protective position when I feel threatened. It’s where I place one hand, fingers spread, when I’ve come up with an idea, when I’ve discovered a beautiful or meaningful combination of words, when I’ve pictured a drawing, as if gently holding them there will keep them safe until needed, until I can get them into a notebook or sketch pad. It’s where my creativity incubates. To some, it’s the sacral chakra. To me, it’s a womb. And though I’ve never given birth to a child, it just seems a natural place to protect ideas, quotes, plummy phrases, until the time and place for their birth comes. And a birthing it is. A time for joy, accomplishment, the contentment of adding to my ever growing family of art. Seeing that it fits, that there is already a space waiting for it.

Perhaps my lover recognizes that the American Heritage Dictionary defines gravitas as “substance; weightiness.” My no-doubt-about-it center of gravity.

Tamara Nesbit lives in the woods in Black Mountain with three cats and a dog… and fifty gazillion unfinished poems, and stories. She can be reached at


Sandi Tomlin-Sutker
Written by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker