The Stone Baby
In this medical fantasy the body charms
by its own devices, its tissue a myth, a village
and river lore too ancient for X-ray, too
seductive for the stiff calcified, the all-this-time
asymptomatic concretion. This baby is not evil
but stone-honeyed, stone-hooked, a grist and laying creature.
Always the hysteric of stability,
it is the womb that’s a blinking Gorgon eye
which spies and stares the child as she flees, then
spasm of floor, torso, palms open to bring out
the new thing, throat against the cries
that do not come. Your fatted heels and fists
dig and choke, dig and wallow in muscle. Dig,
dig and subside.
Soon, you are a fine etching,
a thin harmony to mother’s own marrow.
The century ages and you feel a memory,
lithiasis of the still pelvis. A slate for wounds
fixed there in the dancing belly. If you will sleep,
my lithopedion, sleep. Little stone-cricket,
stone-fox, stone orpine and pippin,
my uprooted fossil, lily snapped from stalk.