An old one, but it deserves another posting

Afterbirth

You slipped through
the blood-dewed lips
of her vulva, flesh-parting
head brushed by dark wire-hairs,
your open mouth catching
her skin on your way out,
as though you were eating.

You left behind placenta,
veined, frightening in light,
so terribly nourishing.
It followed soon after, drawn
by the luminous cord your human
father severed a few minutes
before rubbing your flanks free
of bowel-waste.
He settled you to suckle.

Your brain was still forming;
how much could you know?
Seedlike, you had all of the world
in those pink folds,
waiting to grow.

A few decades away
from that hay-filled cave,
after the slack-jawed hymns
of the shepherds had scattered
their vibrations a few miles
past the sun, you knew
the feel of birth again.

Your body, veined, made frightening
in light, so terribly nourishing,
shrugged off on that tree.
All of the universe held
in the folds of your nail-split palms,
seedlike, already unfurling,
ready to grow in the flesh you
sloughed off. Waiting to breathe when
your father cuts the numinous cord.

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About Bethany W Pope

Bethany W Pope was named by the Huffington Post as ‘one of the five Expat poets to watch in 2016’. Nicholas Lezard, writing for The Guardian, described her latest collection as 'poetry as salvation'.....'This harrowing collection drawn from a youth spent in an orphanage delights in language as a place of private escape.' Bethany has won many literary awards and published several collections of poetry. Her first novel, Masque, was published by Seren in 2016. Her second novel, Ordinary Lives: The Ballad of John and Mary, was published in 2018. Follow her on Twitter @BethanyWPope

Posted on January 16, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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