She is in the porcelain bath
at my mother’s house, and I cut her.
Blood and sand thin on the knife, my hands
I reach over and over
into the weakened gourd of her
until thirty eggs loll in the bread pan,
glaucous, ocular rounds without sockets.

I had wrenched her from the ditch
where she was crumpled,
her belly still cradled over the hole
she made in the loam, on the slope
girding the S-curve from the marsh
that she had returned to every birthing season.
Truck-split carapace, she scudded
along the backseat of my car.
I had thought I could deliver her
to some other dirt.

I sit back, my hands wet red on my thighs.
My skirt turtle-flecked and sheer,
I see coming to my love, palms up, saying, look,
look what I have done