Red Dragon Breathing Flames
No one says the word baby and I
Place the box of tissues over the magazine cover of a round belly
I know she saw, the one unsterile detail in the room, the
Red dragon breathing flames,
Like the suction hose and speculum full of blood.
Her belly licks of stretch marks and scars,
Some fullness holding tight to walls
In that high tower, as if waiting to be rescued
Is a bad thing. No one knows the strength
Of princesses: women concrete in naïveté
Until it’s time to swim away
On white, fluffy clouds. On bubbles.
And she holds my hands too tight
And we fill the room with chatter
Contracting to anything
Born from the night and given to the light of day.
No one sees the curls of her hair stuck to her forehead
Or the brown bark in her eyes turn to water
To nurture the severed roots
As her fingers spasm in odd waves with the pain.
Definitely no one sees the secret muscle
Too deep inside layers of anatomy
Being tugged and pulled to almost weeping, and
Kahlua-colored iodine cold on thighs, which
Even the cotton balls can’t soften.