Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

It’s time.


On cue

my arms outstretched. They hand

you over, pass the pretty, pliant

peach-ripe parcel.

Wrapped in pink

with stone-smooth skin



“Congratulations, ma’am.”

Just as we practiced.


You’ve had a bath.

You are not

the creature fished

from the deep, the gelatinous lump


from my insides, then dropped

like a pebble

on my stomach, bloated,

a violent shade

of purple, slippery

like paste.


You opened your cavernous

mouth, took your first delicious

gulps of disinfected life, and announced

your arrival,

on one

tuneless note.


But now

you smell like apples.

The fog has lifted, and you feel


Small enough to slip

between my schoolgirl fingers, fall

and spring apart. Splitting

like skin.

Handle with care.


Just as we practiced

I pull you closer,

touch your cheek. You stir.

your white oyster

lips puckered, suckling

the air, your eyes,

black, like rocks, narrow

in suspicion.


I freeze

awaiting the cry.

Your eyelids flicker,

you cough,

and ball your fists

in wait.


“She’s beautiful,” I choke.

Right on cue.

The curtain rises.

It’s time.


© 2016 Erin Kavanagh-Hall