She began her dictionary project in her final month,
composing sentences with the words she’d found:
The angiography revealed no angioma.
At ataxia she felt her first contraction and ceded control.
So many hours later she reclaimed her body to push-relax-push,
the opposite of reeling in a fish. On the outpouring rush of fluid:
water, blood, piss, more water, out flowed her Moses. But, what is this?
A furball coated with vernix and lanugo wails. She wails, too.
So ceases her ataraxia—from the Greek ataraktos—
the state of being undisturbed.
Rebecca Okrent is an American poet. This poem appeared in the March 15, 2012 issue of the magazine.