Poem In Which I Watch Jane Brakhage Give Birth

Baby’s debut in bath water
head crowning and Jane has her mouth open
its as if the first baby of Earth is being born now
it hurts my vagina but it is not my vagina
I clench it shut.

Stan is behind the camera and I wonder
if daddy is missing the whole thing
or if he realises he is daddy yet.
The year is 1958.

I want to name her Agnes but she is not mine
Baby’s head is crowning
it hurts and I clench again.
My mind goes to the black cherries and rice pudding
I had for dessert at lunch.

Baby’s debut and we see the window,
so off to the garden now, off now
Baby is four years old
how fast it all went by
when the film is not even over yet.

Jessica Schouela


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