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Birth, Labor

August 9, 2010

by Dawn Manning

Even Pegasus wasn’t born standing on his feet.
He fell out

in a pustule of embryonic fluid, the first breath
relayed through

the Minotaur’s maze of biology to the sponge can of his lungs
drying out inexperience

with dangerous use. He landed thrashing the featherless wishbone
against minutes panged by

his legs unclenching from the tight fist of the womb—
the inertia

of having not yet imagined what limbs are for.


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Dawn Manning (website) is a writer, photographer, and anthropologist living in Philadelphia. She won the Edith Garlow Poetry Prize in 2003, but took another five years to realize she might just be a poet. She is currently working on her MFA in poetry through the University of New Orleans and plans to wander through Venice before the year is out. In the mean time, she is perfecting the art of insomnia.

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