by Jill Chan

Because of some


in a part of my body,

I am thinking

about mortality.

How pitiful and small.

But I can't help it.

I am alive.

Therefore, I die over

and over again

over nothing.

That is a given.

What is not there,

we imagine

like a dream,

like futures that may not arrive.

I think of you

blissfully unaware

of my plight,

my denials.

My waiting about

for my life to become real,

as real as how we can die

just like that one day,

a day

living postpones

like an ache to a heart.

That is, inevitable,

unpredictable, yet true.

I am like a woman

about to die from childbirth

if pain is my child

and nothing survives it.

I stifle a groan.

I shift position.

To be a mother

to something endless,

something a body

cannot take

or give.

I am at its mercy.

I search for a cause,

a father to begin it,

to see familiarity

on a face

if pain has a face

other than our own.

But nothing.

I am nothing in this

but a deliverer

of shame.

What happens

but more pushing

and screaming,

more love.

Love for the people

who share our pain,

our body.

There is no end

until the pain

decides for us,


to welcome us

to the world,

and we regard it,

not with our eyes,

but with our soul

tied to our body,

feeling it give

until it cannot anymore.