Keep the baby?
Edith Friedman (Saint Mary’s College of California, USA)
Thanks, actually I’ll just keep the bathwater
even though I am the mother who
survived through all that blood and shit
no drugs, I said, it’s natural birth I want—
now here I am standing naked
in the bathroom clutching a slippery baby
face the color of a blackberry
voice a needle to the eardrum
I can’t imagine how to stop this purple noise
in fact, my imagination has left me flat.
We are both screaming.
The sky is screaming too, and in the facing mirrors
I see another screaming baby and
another naked woman, mouth ajar
behind her, a refracted chorus of desperate pairs
and all sopranos—
In a quarter-note rest
the baby in my arms sees the mirror baby
and the mirror me.
His eyes are the grey-blue of my eyes
I lick away his tears.
Edith Friedman’s work has appeared recently in Sisyphus Literary Magazine, Zingara Poetry Review, and The Ekphrastic Review. She is an MFA student at Saint Mary’s College of California.