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Giving Birth to Death

Life — so fragile, mysterious and ever changing. Can it really exist?
It flickers on like the light of a tiny sperm greeting an eager egg, with a gentle, Hello: nice to meet you, let there be --- light.

As this union exists, so too should a marriage of adult bodies into sacred and holy matrimony
with courage of times to come and joy.
Joy that we can hold on to and savor, like just baked bread or that last piece of cake.
We take bite after succulent bite, only to reach the end, last bite
on the fork. The question is ripe. Do we really want or need that last bite,
or will anything else ever come close?

But I can’t turn back now, they said the head is crowing.
An unfamiliar, gruff, concerned voice demands…“Push for 10.”
And I do, as if to force out a school bus from my swollen uterus.
I get to 8 and need desperately to relax, but I hold on until 10.

And I breathe the sigh of a exiled monk and stare around the room at these unfamiliar faces, peering nosily into the depths of my vagina.
I am more vulnerable now, than I have ever been. I thought it would end with ten.

Men viewing the darkness of my inner thighs, caused by thick drumsticks rubbing together, no light.

And I almost forgot all of this and humbled myself. Oh, how I should not have eaten that last bite of steak. For regret, it is just too late. I push again, this time violently, a madwoman freeing herself from a demon during an exorcism.

Peachy, sterile room filled with fluorescent lights went from a comforting dark to the brightest bright. From toasty warm — akin to the comfort of my own mother’s womb, to a chilling, bone chilling frost.

All the visitors seemed lost, like snowmen frozen in their places, with grim cemented faces.

The familiar gruff one spoke again, trying to sound excited, he failed, “To ten,” he suggested, questioned.
I pushed again, but halfheartedly, for I was confident this baby inside me was as dead and cold as the room he was about to be pushed in.
My own eyes hardened and filled with great pools of sweat, from a last mornings work, mourning a life that couldn’t exist outside of me. Perhaps this life just didn’t want to be.

So I continued and pushed this extraordinary being out of me, in an ordinary way
into a room of less than ordinary ice men — Mr. Freeze Pops,
and they all just stopped — breathing, thinking, wanting, needing, all just grieving for me.

And for the loss, lost out of me. His life just left me empty as I emptied his lifeless body into the hands of the icicle, tin man with no heart at all.

No slurpy gags, muffled cries, inflated lungs, just the dead hum
of the fluorescent lights filling the room, ceiling track lighting focused haphazardly into my womb.
Just dead silence, a stillness so quiet that one could hear a baby drop.
And it did. Dropped from my mind, from my heart,
from my body, and from my life.

Will anything that fragile ever live again?

I will know it, for it all begins with a quickening.

Copyright 2004 Yolanda D. White


Page last modified on April 19, 2005

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