Your Water Breaks by John Grey

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Narrated by John Grey

Your Water Breaks by John Grey
Illustration by Sue Babcock

O Joanne my love it’s not true. It can’t be.
A fetus is sealed in its jar, coiled in its pouch.
1 saw the x-ray, black and white like an old movie,
and silent, so why the cries, why the water,
drops and sprays and streams. Are you drowning?
And the marriage ink not dry yet.
God, your body’s like a cheap dam exploding,
as a thousand rivers rush through and out,
shake you like fever, and your fingers clench the floating sheet,
the mattress, these surrogate forms of me.
Oh how wretched in playful night-dress,
once cocooned in dry dreams., now hastened by wet reality,
rolling in the flood, the seminal birth pools,
the godly silks of a placenta, all of your insides
like the passionate turmoil of the seas.

You bellow like wind, scream across the waters,
scratched by pink claw and garrulous spine,
rose-tinged cheek and bone.
Tears could explain but floods do it so much better.
It is a great storm, violent enough to hammer shut your eyes,
for my commotion to swirl into hurricane.
Out of the bed, into the car,
all red-tinged tatters and convulsing flesh,
stained blood-white by your own anatomy.
What a world it is, Joanne –
when you speak and you whisper harshly how, “It’s time.”
My hands grip tight the wheel, floor the accelerator.
You fill the passenger seat like beating drums and rising tides.


Author Bio: John Grey is Australian born poet, playwright, musician, Providence RI resident since late seventies. . Has been published in numerous magazines including Weird Tales, Christian Science Monitor, Greensboro Poetry Review, Poem, Agni, Poet Lore and Journal Of The American Medical Association as well as the horror anthology “What Fears Become” and the science fiction anthology “Futuredaze.” Has had plays produced in Los Angeles and off-off Broadway in New York. Winner of Rhysling Award for short genre poetry in 1999.