by Carla Coimbra
coimbra pic

Pablo Picasso, Three Women

The majority of dream and of ordinary vision is vision of the womb. The brain and the womb are both centres of consciousness, equally important.
                                                                                                        [H.D., Thought and Vision]

TORONTO — Quiet suburb. Three women and a girl sit outside and write. We turn over ourselves, over and over, returning as we do, from the expanse of space running along
our edges, along contour of body, by the place of happening. Days later, I go back to where it happened. Three women and Sophia. Sitting where Rebecca sat, nursing. Here, on this deck. This lawn chair. The red wood shed, the crab apple tree. Wire cables, birdsong. A can of beer sits on the ledge. I’ve forgotten how much effort it takes to feel any sensation. Language is like walking into a field. Glint of spiderweb. Soft current & rustling leaves, the kick when it nears your ear. Under the green umbrella. A meal of slow cooked ribs, coleslaw and potatoes. The men and children, inside. The door open and closes. Three women and a girl are going to write. In the distance, a weed whacker. The door opens and closes, opens and closes. Urgent pleas, “Mummy I’m hungry and my toe hurts and I have to pee,” constant needing. The ‘here’, the ‘now.’ Three women and a girl. Is she thirteen yet? Must be. I don’t know. I remember thirteen. No, try to avoid interiority. Think of the wisteria, alders by the creek. Take in the many greens. The cardinal, sharp, announcing its perch from the cedar. What does the word undulating mean? We tell her. I’ve been there before, asked that very question. The door opens and closes. I remember the lake, lilacs early in bloom. Now, the growing softness of my gaze, that, I think – is my gift. At first I dismiss this. But then I look out, into the trees and wires and I think, no. It’s true. Leslie says we will each write poems and share them with each other because “it will tell us something about each of us,” and the door opens and closes. Her son wants to join us, get close but not too close; prefers to whisper lines of poetry directly into her ear. Whisper what you think into my ear, you have to help me.


Three families meet for a backyard BBQ. The men are inside; children at various states of inside and outside. A beer can sits on the ledge. The door opens and closes, we continue writing and as we do something comes up from the womb, children are scooped up into it. What happens between the brain and the womb? How does this middle passage move through us, colouring everything as it spreads?

Carla Coimbra is a poet and writer who draws inspiration from wanting to understand, with clarity, how things move through the body; through space and time. She lives in Toronto with her partner and son. You can follow her on Instagram at @mama_oracle and on her blog,, where she writes about motherhood, creativity, and the magic that is everyday life.

Carla Coimbra .jpg

One thought on “Moving

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