For Tonight We Attend a Fertility Seminar
by Marisa Crane
I am terrified of having a child. There,
I said it. Is the fear gone yet? Has it grown
twinkle toes & danced offstage? You seem
so confident, so steady. I want to hold
on to you as I rock to & fro. Don’t be alarmed
if I vomit over the side railing. Yesterday
I set up my new record player & cried
when a piece of it broke off. Of course, my tears
weren’t for the plastic. If I can’t assemble this shit,
how will I ever keep a human alive? I choked.
You wrapped me in your arms, but still I felt cold.
I am made of impractical atoms. They buzz about clumsily,
like June bugs. My blood spills here & everywhere.
Our child will soon inherit the mess I made. Babe,
a confession disguised as an observation: Post-baby our dynamic
will change. You will have less time for me—
of that I am certain. I have a nasty habit of measuring life
by the losses. There will be times in which
you say I love you & I will mistakenly
think you are talking to me. I will mourn
the sentiments that are not mine to keep.
This morning: You wandered into the kitchen,
eyes full of blue light. You looked at me
as if I’d spent all night building a tower to the sky—
absolutely dazzled. I worry I will become
less remarkable around the baby. A face you’ve grown
used to. Oh how I hate that phrase. It makes me want to
dig my own grave & sneak naps when you
aren’t looking, until I am more sleep than awake,
until I am so close to death that I hold myself a wake.
Once you give birth, your precious eyes will shoot
in a new direction. How pathetic I am to act
as if there is only room for one
cannonball in your arsenal.
Marisa Crane is a lesbian fiction writer and poet. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in X-R-A-Y Magazine, Pithead Chapel, Drunk Monkeys, Jellyfish Review, Okay Donkey, Cotton Xenomorph, Riggwelter Press, Maudlin House, formercactus, and elsewhere. She currently lives in San Diego with her wife. You can find her on Twitter @marisabcrane.