Alive in your arms
I open to the sound
Rising from the floor of my being,
Where I hold the jewel
We gave each other
Forty-two weeks before–
The gift cradled, treasured, nurtured,
Bathed in sweet crimson darkness,
Hanging like ripe fruit on my curled, pulsing vine.
The treasure I toil and sweat
To deliver to you now.

See my eyes in the mirror,
Bright and dark beneath heavy brows.
Fully relaxed,
Fully aware.
Press my lips to your strong, soft shoulder
As another wave rises,
Rushes through my center.
I bend over your embrace,
A palm tree blown over by hurricane force–
Free, rooted, enjoying
The wild wind howling through my hair.

Take me
Down, down, down, down.

The seed you launched
In our moment,
Our private ecstasy,
Almost tearing you apart
As you opened to it
Sweet, deep, shaking your spirit
And mine–
How it shakes me again
Four seasons later.
Sweet, deep, almost tearing me apart.

Yes, come,
Open, open, open.

I turn, splash, thrash,
As silver raindrops fly,
Till I sink deeper in the warm tub of water
A womb of my own,
Where you have joined me
In my most intimate sphere.
Be with me.
When I grasp at your strength,
I drink deep your energy
To do what I must do–
To fling this wet, writhing life
From one world to another.

Come, come, come, oh!
Now, surrender, surrender.

I reach inside.
A soft, wet, warm, and wrinkled scalp.
Would you like to touch your baby?
Joy lights your eyes
Escaping in laughter.
Soon we will hold our baby.

Here again.
Don’t touch me.
Hold me, hold me.

I am frightened, I am strong,
I surrender, I am God,
I am shouting, “I can! I can!”
I am hissing, growling, thrashing,
Rocking, moaning,
Pushing, opening.
I want to stand up and ROAR this baby out!
But there is nothing above to grab,
And now the wave has washed passively over me,
The tiger has sauntered away.
I am left weak, smiling, sighing,
Laughing, thirsty, invincible.
I verge on tears,

The birthing overtakes me again,
And I am terrified
To open the next door,
To descend to the next level,
To respond to the irresistible,
To push a mewing baby
From my sanguine depths into the bright daylight.
I am so scared–
And then I feel the child
Navigating the pelvis,
Negotiating an exit.
Turning, squirming, screwing down.
I laugh out loud
And declare
That I don’t need to push,
For this babe will wriggle out into your arms!

Oh, oh!
Now, now, now.

Now I am terrified and brave,
Teeth clenched in a wild grimace,
Naked, shameless, fearless, free,
Head thrown back,
Chin thrust to the ceiling,
Throat exposed,
I rise upon that glistening wave.
I fly to the pinnacle
Where life and death are sisters.

And I do what no one has done before.
And I do what my mothers have always done.
I do.
I can.
I will.
I am.
I am there.
I am there!

She is here,
Dark curls wet with creation’s dew.

She breathes our air.

She does not cry,
But we do.


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