Tonight, I’m peering over the expanse of my belly. The ultrasounds insist you’re human but in this early roar of labor, I’m afraid I could be giving birth to anything. Like I could crawl into the dirt under the house and make a tidy nest for squirmy puppies, or wander for hours alone in a moonlit field, before trotting back with a damp and spider-limbed foal in tow. But tomorrow, I’ll smell your perfect head, and count your tiny fingers and toes over and over again. And even though I’ve been split like a lip, I will feel nothing but relief.
Arah McManamna (she/her) writes and lives in the creeping damp of the Pacific Northwest. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in journals such as Hobart, Rejection Letters, Gravel Magazine, Outside In, and Cactus Heart Press.