First Birthing

The moon must have assumed the shape
of a vessel; or a plate of mother-of-pearl
with no memory yet of the future. Its eyes
were a minefield into which too many
flowers were tossed, as if more could lead
to atonement. You don't know what the clock
told it; how can you trust a face with hands
that hinge open more than they come
together? There are some things you just
know will happen. The women in your family
joke about pulling out babies by the feet
or by the hair. Roots find their way 
through galaxies of humid ground. Dirty 
radish faces, damp fronds; the strange 
urge to name what breaks away in banners
of amnion and  blood. Milk soon leaks
through gaps in the teeth.  And water 
doesn't really break. Your skin can only 
hold it in for so long.

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