I am large, no longer hungry,
enormous cup, filled to the brim.
I await a sign, dark brown
discharge, little cramp.
When the clamp comes down,
it squeezes my breadth and width,
holds on, then circles back
to loosen the vise. I wander
and listen to the rhythm
of twittering birds, irregular
as this labor. I stop, overcome.
I am breaking, at the brink; hot
brine pours over my thighs.
My body soon lies immobile
in the hospital, gripped by interior
waves– cycle of ripple, rise, wide
crest. Tide and world have turned
inside out: legs backward in
sockets, every shape in the room–
doctors, lover, monitor, clock–
irradiated, white; every blank
space drained black. This is
the moment of transition,
completion of the dilation.
I am wide open.
This muscle pumps of its own volition
takes over when I want to rest,
as pressure and stress overwhelm
the perineum, rip and tear
at the seat other existence.
I focus upon the invisible, blow long
exhalations, numb to all but this
concentration of bee stings, a trillion
hot little pokers that blaze into
wildfire. All that's within me
and all that I am pulses and grunts
and strains. I push and burst, cry
out the first word. She is
crowning, slipping past
my boundaries. Look!
What is this creature?
Perfect, trembling, vibrant,
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