The Rainbow Auction

Gabrielle Rub


Origin warm. 

Lid split. Bright. Two sun disks hang, 

manoeuvred by blud-smudged handles. 

Handed wet. Nervous wee. Relieved laughter. 

Teddy swaddled and set to stare at the peeling Noah’s ark stickers on the bear-down square cloud. The scrub scout takes the kidney dish, tilts it and allows my placenta to slide into the clinical waste. I  fear my leg is next to be severed and tossed as a doctor grabs my foot firm and stings my thigh with a  needle. The stab is quick, and my leg remains perfectly attached. Is that what you meant to do? I ask  the incompetent bystander with smiling scissors and a forgotten camera.  

It doesn’t reach him. Bit of a dud, that one.  

Genesis is fraught with duds. 


¹If melted down, the sacred history of my people would be no larger than as to fill the child-sized thumb of a communion glass. 

²The surgeon who bore me was a church-going Christian, who’d met my parents while wearing a tea towel on his head. My father was his sheep and my mother was pregnant sans impregnation. 

³If melted down, the sacred history of my people would be no larger than as to fill the shallow basin of a human pelvis. 

⁴The midwife who held me removed the lanyard from about her neck after hearing my mother  mutter ‘What if she tries something, Dave?’ through the curtain of the pre-op holding bay.


I bellow the molten metal of amniotic flour from my lungs. Any takers?! The surgeon coos, soldering my womb shut. 

Act now, while I’m still fresh! 

The midwife guides me to suckle. 

Milk magi, name your price. 

The smelting slag of afterbirth clings in the cauliflower creases of my ill-fitting skin. Can anyone help me alchemise a solid self from these corrosive materials? 

One year ago, Gabe was an ICU nurse in one of Brisbane’s largest trauma hospitals. At twenty-six, they recognised a broader dynamic of repressing their underlying sense of self throughout their life. One existential crisis later, they’re experiencing poetry first hand and learning how to breathe life into the inanimate.