Spine curved around precious cargo
Hold still, they ask, staining
your back brown with betadine.
Shoulders slouch obediently,
your forehead pressed against mine.
Fingers grip me tightly as I stand
before you, murmuring small words
or remaining silent, syncing breaths.
This last calm moment –
before anesthesia finishes,
before we swing into action,
positioning legs and painting orange
the moon of your belly.
A cascade of azure paper
sequesters you from view.
I step to your side and rest
one hand upon the prize.
I call for a knife and cut.