So you were born — from thick red blood, from mud and tears. Once you were part of everything that had ever existed. Torn from this your birth was by necessity an amputation. Once there was the scent of meat and oh there was fire, red-orange and savage. Rocks sang your name and shrilled in the night-time winds, and you pledged a silent promise that you would not forget their crackling redness, their sparks in the pitch-black. Once there was song and screams and you bellowed I'm ready to be born now! And all about you, women in a circle, round as all eternity. These mothers all your mothers and you will birth them one by one. Your story's written, splattered on the walls, the muddy earth. It's trickling blood, sweat, saliva. Lie here, lie now, on this ground, this circle of wet seeping earth, for this earth is your body. Hands will touch you until you are made flesh. Listen to these, the sounds of joy and anguish and let your heart swell. Let the tears come; let yourself be born in a baptism, a purging, let the whole world be washed clean.
Two people came together. Two people met each other in a tangle of physicality and you were conceived. The world linked hands, danced a sacred, muddy dance. The world lit a fire and you jumped into it. The world lit a fire and you danced out of it: a plume of smoke, an idea, a thought-form made flesh. You tasted the air and the air was breath, the air was smoke and blood and love and earth, and yes, here you are now, born of the earth. This for all your relations, for all who have come before you. You don't know this language yet. Wait, listen, for this has no words. This, a language you have always known. Face to the ground. All fours now. And — low. Climb up. Lie. Lie like a snake on wet grass, lie to gain strength. Uncoil slowly and be free. You're all the strength that has ever been; you're all that can ever be. Sweat sweeps over you and you shed skins, lose your face. Circles of years — seven apiece — fall from you on this floor, lives peel back. And you. You are woman, human. You are everything. Time spills from you in drip-drops. You are ready ready ready. Red-black as a womb, born in the heat and the darkness, born too hot to live. Oh yes, you are ready.
Roberta Lawson lives in Brighton on the coast of England. Her writing can be found in places such as 'Sein Und Werden', 'Prick of the Spindle' and 'Gutter Eloquence.'