First Baby

The hospital felt like a tomb just after midnight,
your body at home in my womb for the final time.

In the bathroom, I took off my clothes and wrapped
my arms around you-in-me, my skin prickling with cold,

with dread. When the time came for you to be born,
you didn’t want to leave my body. You clung to me,

and the nurses gathered around and put an oxygen mask
on my face. My breaths were my fear of losing us.

Finally, my body turned inside out, my blood
poured to the floor. You emerged, your lungs

emptying of me, my womb emptying of you.
Only one heart beat within me then.