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Kathleen Loe

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