Birth Stories

Published on November 3rd, 2016 | by Samantha Barrow

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BIRTH THREATENS CLOSER—Poems by Samantha Barrow

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“Flooding” by Tony Alter

BIRTH THREATENS CLOSER

 

The water level rises

under my skin

 

Swollen

Bloated

—logical terms

to capture

this state

 

but really

the body

subconscious

is beginning

its drowning

 

of a social GPS

adherence to a map

other than the deep interior machinery core

set in motion by a callous gesture, a couple little cells

that ignited everything god-like and terrifying

 

the territory beneath my eyes

—spongy soft & pale—

brims in heat

 

once the flood line laps

my irises

I’m done

 

Just hope to hold on

to enough breath

 

to make it

past this

Origin

to the other

surface

 

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“Birth” by Priya Saihgal

 

FACING

 

The fact is

you have to finish this

 

There is no undoing

the hole that will be made

 

There is no turning the honeydew melon

back into a grape or a pomegranate pip

to slip gracefully through

your maidenhood

 

You are a matron now

skirts wide billowing

& worn

the only grace

available

is acceptance

 

Boo hoo if you want to

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“Game Day”

 

OPENING

 

When my midwife

tries to get a second finger

inside my cervix

to stimulate

the baby’s coming

it feels like I am

being raped

 

There is nothing I can do

about that fact

 

She can pull open

my labial lips

knock the baby’s head around my pelvic bowl

I can consent to those pains

necessary I can suppose

 

but somewhere

between the vaginal canal

and the inside of my bones

a new law emerges

where my body is not

my own

 

a slimy furred

fanged

beast

with tits & wings

in all the wrong places

will gnaw your fucking head off

 

Don’t ask me

to be reasonable

 

Don’t ask me to endure

that which will not save

my life

our life

 

A death

of something

will occur

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“Wings” by Kirsten Pauli

 

P.S. Want more? There’s more. Samantha Barrow will be reading at Dixon Place for the Queer Art Organics series on Tuesday Nov 8th

Photos (except of the author) are Flickr / Creative Commons License

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About the Author

Samantha Barrow

Samantha Barrow writes poems and some prose while directing the Humanities in Medicine at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at The City College of New York, and teaching in the Program of Narrative Medicine at Columbia.

She is the author of GRIT and tender membrane (Plan B Press), Jelly (a chapbook, Tiger / Monkey Alliance), and Chap (self published).  Her poetry, prose, reviews and interviews have been published in The Ledge Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia City Paper, Off Our Backs, Lesbian Nation, Feminist Review, The Intima, Cleaver, Helmet Hair and two Uphook Press Anthologies: “you say. say.” and “Hell Strung and Crooked.



3 Responses to BIRTH THREATENS CLOSER—Poems by Samantha Barrow

  1. Vicki iorio says:

    Amazing poetry

  2. Stanley Thangaraj says:

    Love the words that start a whole new set of imagination

  3. Susan Holton says:

    The vibrancy of your words captures experience like no other.

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