I wonder if my mom tried to kill me in utero. I wonder if I almost died at birth. I wonder when I became I, when soul slipped between stitches, into limbs, in-breaths. I wonder if I ever formed, or if it hovered always around edges of mother father am-them. I wonder the sound when I slips off like a loose garter. A stretched slip. Matryoshka shell. Empire. Is it a cymbal clash, a swoosh, a crumple of warm fabric faint crotch tang. Is it a crack a groan then gravity. Is it dust? I wonder the lungs beneath. Are they breathing? Awake? Are they stilled in terror? I wonder if she held her breath when she had me. They say to breathe. I wonder if astronauts feel like fish in the grand bowl of space: Life and then life and then life every two minutes a new pattern of stars in revolution. I wonder if I am in utero. Carmine haze, black cosmos. I wonder if I’m dying in here. Is this what it feels like returning from orbit, burning alive in the becoming.
Pema Rocker writes in dry wheatgrass fields, by streams, in breezes. A former playwright and columnist, current ghostwriter, her poetry has lived in shadows. She’s feeding it light. Pema lives in Portland, Oregon. She is a grateful student of Lidia Yuknavitch and the authors and teachers at Corporeal Writing.