By Lisa Couturier

From Fall 2017

 The skin of her fat belly
 was warm as I slipped
 my hand inside
 her oily pouch
 searching for babies
 she possibly left behind.
 No hiss or growl left in her.
 No more nomadic journeys
 driven by her hunger
 under the moon each night.
 Just this summer 
 afternoon on the road
 and me kneeling, beside her,
 closing her eyes,
 her nose pointing toward
 the forest, blood trickling
 from her frostbitten ears.
 I am sorry, I said, as I
 tugged on the slackened muscles
 of her ancient opossum body
 carved open by a car,
 her feet like black stars.

 Deemed necessary to proceed with cesarean section.
 Patient placed in dorsal, supine position, with leftward tilt.
 Skin incision with scalpel.
 Entered sharply.
 Fascia nicked midline.
 Vesicouterine perioneum identified and tented up.
 Uterine incision extended laterally with bandage scissors.
 Fetal vertex delivered atraumatically.
 Nose and mouth suctioned on incision.
 Remainder of fetus delivered.
 Cord clamped and cut.
 Infant handed off.