Labor Of Dreams

There are babies seething inside me
Writhing to get out.
They may just rip my skin
To get free.

It does hurt, this constant birthing
Of things I cannot hold for long.
Some die before their first cry.
It’s my own faultC
I suffocate them under my tongue
Or beneath my heavy fingers that refuse
To lift pen or brush or chisel.

The ones that make it?
Well, they fear dying too,
So are persistent in their pushing,
Till at last I give up,
Ignoring their sucking mouths and
Squinting eyes and grabby little fingers
I take a deep breath,
Open my legs, and let them slip
Or pour or jump or carve
Their way out and push up my breasts,
Squeeze my nipples till the milk runs red
And I feed those hungry little souls
Till they fall asleep across my eyes,
My chest, my belly.

I lay back on the pillow of my
Efforts, gaze at my little babes
Of every color and texture across my canvas,
Every word spread across my desk:
 Green and Sky
 River, Mountain and Tear,
 Push and Shove,
 And slide on down into
 Sweat and Bone, Pearl and
 Flashy White Smile,
 Poppy Blood
 And Oozing Mud.

Then, I think,
Yes, these are the
Ones that wanted to be,
To be here bad enough to hurt me.

And all the hair-pulling and sobbing,
All the ignoring and making-love-
Instead of, all the going-to-pieces,
All the walks for days on end and
Long drafts of a cold one,
All the sitting and staring out the window
Make no difference now.
These babies were meant to come.

These dream babies,
These brush strokes of my thighs, these
Penned wisps of my eyelids flutter.
These precise cuts of my carving tool fingers.
They were meant to come.
I couldn’t stop them. I tried.

It’s a good thing they didn’t care
What I wanted.