From One Form To Another

How do you tell the story of the body?

We are conceived, our cells rip apart

they multiply, they divide, they die

They die in fingernail clippings and hair cuts and sometimes all at once on the old hardwood floor, rarely swept.

Does dying feel like being born?

Maybe I cut your umbilical cord

Maybe right at that moment, when my scream scared the cat, a baby was born

all wild, all gasping and cries

warm little fingers and toes

Yours were mid-winter cold, the back of your hand and your fingers ice

But your hair was just right. You lay on your stomach, sleeping in, late for work.

And perhaps just as I gave up on that tight little knot,

a man unmoored his sailboat- the lake must have been perfect.

A bright, hot summer day, my screams bounding out the open windows

How unlike the living you are, how dead.

Your last breath caught in your throat, mine rushing out and in all at once

Later I lay by an ant hill

buzzing, busy and beating with life.

 

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