Sonja Dahl, Messages from the Sun, 2015 (series of original cyanotype prints)

Here is the room that made you a saint.

Here is the well. Your body, soon excavated
from mine. A little voice, not yours. Not divine—
here is the mother I might’ve been. The months
of preparation. The end of times. An era of false
imprisonment. My water will break & flood you
out. I’ll wait for a sigh. The soft smack of your skull
on bloody thighs. This captivity is my fault. I want
to keep you longer. Let there be light. There is no bucket,
no rope. This isn’t a nursery rhyme. Let the earth bring forth

living creatures after their kind. I have given warmth
& water to the earth. The plants & birds. The dry
seed of you trapped inside me. I have multiplied.
I have given everything to liken myself to the rime.
Beware of the body-lie. Body-quiet. The spirit
body. Believe me: childbirth is war. Let the blade
learn you. Let your throat soften against it.
Let the rules of war not apply. Here, creation
theory ends with thrashing. A drowning.
A body pulled from the dark & soldered
to the sky. This morning I made: keep it.
Only one of us is lying. I’ll be just fine.


Chelsea Dingman