poem index

Postpartum

Hiromi Itō
Childbirth was not dying nor defecating
Childbirth was just a very painful period
For the thirty-seven hours from beginning to end
I kept on bleeding just as if
I were having my period
I wanted to change my maxi pad, change it right away
I was constantly aware of my anus but
I knew I didn't have to defecate
The pain was unpleasant, nothing more
The pain was unpleasant
The pain was unpleasant
Dying is unpleasant
Unpleasant

April 30, 9:47 am, a baby girl
3,650 grams, 51 centimeters

After twenty-four hours have passed, the newborn is brought from the nursery and allowed
to be with the mother. A bed for the newborn is placed to the side of the mother's bed, but
everyone puts their baby in the bed with them and sleeps next to it. The bed for the newborn is
so high that unless the mother lifts herself up, she cannot see it.

My baby kept vomiting amniotic fluid in the nursery
May 1, 9:47 am, twenty-four hours had gone by, but there she stayed
May 1, the afternoon goes by and still no baby
May 2, the whole day goes by and still no baby
May 3, the whole morning and still no baby

There is no baby

Anywhere

I haven't started lactating, of course

May 3, 1 pm, the baby arrived
And has existed ever since

From Killing Kanoko. Copyright © 2009 by Jeffrey Angles. Used with permission of Action Books.

Hiromi Itō

by this poet

poem
I make shiratama
And take them to my man
I heat the sugar and form syrup
Put in the boiled dumplings
And cool them
I seal them tight
And take them
All the shiratama stick to the bottom
The surfaces of the shiratama are torn
Their round
Shapes are distorted
I scoop them up with a spoon
Hey!
Look!
Scoop them out