Women make bouillon from themselves in bath water
until their innards boil out of them in the form of a child.
This is how we are born: without a shell,
without the reassurance that one day we will find
a mouth, that looks so much like our own mouth
that we start to talk with it.
We too will end up one day frog-legged,
with gurgling breath and the nervous tic
of a head on a bewildered body
left in the bath tub,
as the water circles away,
a small whirling tornado,
that won’t even make the weather forecast.
Translated from Dutch by Michele Hutchinson