The Birth

The birth isn’t about poetry
It is about screaming pain on a Sunday
Hailing a cab and head racing
To the hospital, now so close to the new apartment
 
I had a baby inside of me
But no one expected it to happen so fast
Or then at least they said they didn’t
Maybe they expected it to happen so fast
All along
 
Alone in the waiting room I shook and shook
And the blood ran down my legs
Later with the magnesium
I thought of the many permutations of the bald head
Pale, pickling fish skin, glowing with scales
 
When she came out, she was dark and full of hair
No blood, but born in the caul
Like the other magical realities of my past accomplishments
When she came out she cried and it sounded like me
But passed me, into her new reality
 
Now 3 weeks later, they say I am still not an erotic object
So I wander the park in the snow with my friend
We light candles and pray to the darkness
We light the park on fire and the police come and find us
 
When they take us to the jail, I say no, it’s not right
I am a mother after all
They say, but where is your baby
And I say, no no, my baby my baby
They say, yes yes, look at your beautiful baby
 
I say, I do, I do
Look, look, and listen
My baby my baby
She’s here

Dorothea Lasky, "The Birth." Copyright © 2015 by Dorothea Lasky. Used by permission of the author for PoetryNow, a partnership between the Poetry Foundation and the WFMT Radio Network.
Source: PoetryNow (PoetryNow, 2015)
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