314 Union St, Hudson, NY
Admittedly, it started tonight with awkward sex.
Then splat! Her water hits the hard bathroom
tiles like a starting pistol, washing the
redundant cum from her thighs. She knows
what’s over and what’s beginning. Her
sleeping parents’ house is 3am quiet,
her husband probably already dreaming in her
old pink room. Slowly meeting her startled eyes
in the mirror she shivers again with pleasure
at the gift of being alone with this juicy launch.
Fear tries to narrow her wide-open glance, her
steady smile. This is how a woman conquers fear –
she rides her pain like a Gurkha, her mission rolls
out ahead with unremitting clarity. She cannot see
the end of the chute she’s sliding– she’s sailing
on a high-prowed Viking ship. She knows death
has come from this. Her husband naps on the rigid
couch in her labor room like a concubine. With
the night nurse and the boyish on-call resident,
she’s a bodhisattva, a vaudevillian, a cornered
rattlesnake. She’s inside the fire, strangers stir
the coals and rearrange her limbs. Her mother
hovers in the doorway, stymied with love.
The waves rise, the blood surges, she’s
in the green water. Her daughter flies
from her shrinking world with a howl
of triumph and pink hair.
She doesn’t pray yet, she is God.
© 2019 Kathleen Loe