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everything was finally aligning

the doctors came later than expected,

even though the nurses exaggerated

how many centimeters I was dilated

I felt your intention

to pass through and clear the birth canal


for both of us

the anesthesiologist

breezed in

flustered by how close you were to being born, he

shot me in the back with something strong

which at first felt

like deliver-ance

but he had miscalculated

just like that, we lost the opportunity

to get it over with

you fell silent

I wondered whose white legs

those were stretched into the stirrups

i felt nothing below my waist

where were you? we were still us

you, still not born

but no longer a fetus

it took hours for you to rustle again

you and I both

regained feeling, casting off the

spell of Western medicine

until you finally

ventured out from the

warm dark wet cave we shared

finally felt the cold wet slap of the future

welcome to this world

c2022, Lesley Salas


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