Written for Trifecta.
She looks between her legs, white paper stained crimson. It wasn't supposed to happen this way.
Her body, round as Mother Earth, heaves, like the ship against the waves. She tries holding her breath, drowning herself in the murky density of the mind.
"I want to die!" she shouts when the pain subsides. But her voice comes out of the wrong end. It travels inward rather than out. She doesn't have much time until the next attack. Thought falls into the shadow of suffering. The core of her cramps.
"You're going to survive," a man says. The tightening squeezes the life out of her. She climbs into his words.
You... Will... Survive...
She lives inside of the words. Intellect dissolves and their essence cradles her in an Elysian cocoon. She knows she is dying.
"Let me go," she says. "Throw me to the sea." But the interlude doesn't last. Force demands freedom. The big boom, the beginning of the universe, travels through her body, splitting open her pelvis. She bares down, until she realizes she is about to break in two like a seashell.
"Push your hardest, then let it go. Push, let go. Push, let go."
Push... Let go...
The first time she opens up, she does not break, she widens. Heaven passes through the hole in her body.
Faceless arms hand her a tiny child, naked and disoriented. Blankets, a hat descends, gloved fingers point her nipple between miniature lips. She holds his squirming body against her own. She looks at the suckling chin, a chin she already knows well. She thinks of nothing, not of love or of pain, but of what she has learned about mothering.
The hardest part is letting go.