You don’t insult your parents and you don’t tell them things that would frighten them. You visit every two months and stay in your dead brothers room even though it haunts you and you don’t care about the rats or mold or cockroaches or snakes or the way the bathroom sink doesn’t work or the  missing garage or anything and when you announce your pregnancy, you do it with pride. Ask your dad to name the baby. Ask your mom to give the middle name. There is no father and you have two cats and a small backyard and lots of friends and a nice fat savings account. There is no wedding and no husband and the likelihood there ever will be is decreasing.

 

You didn’t mean for this happen but you go through with it, being a daughter. Being stronger than the dread they bring me. Being wrong about some things but right about this. You finger the black cohosh and decide to name her something with some bark.

 

You remember everything. The intrusive thought: you only get pregnant once. The psychic asking who the little girl is. The psychic asking if you’ve ever had a miscarriage. The psychic asking about your  daughter. Finger the anise and name her with teeth. There’s the given names from your parents and then your special name for her; the thing that cuts its way out of you. The Name that called to you from the closet and half etched itself onto your tricep. Your secret name.

 

“You are my only daughter.” And then you fill the tub with the rose and lavender, and let your body soak. You’ve never been particularly decisive. And it’s not with malice decisions are made. There’s investment and aging and desirability. Financial strain. Your business to consider. You’ll be hung for this series and you write it anyway.  You are stronger than the way they judge you. You carve her name onto a stick and throw it in the cohosh tea. Drink the cohosh tea. Feel her drool hit your cheeks. The way you sang her name, the way you watched her take her first steps towards you and the way you beamed with pride, telling everyone of your goddaughter. The way she laughed and danced any time you turned on music. You only get pregnant once. Did you have a miscarriage? Who is the little girl?

 

 You’ve never been decisive. Be easy on yourself.  And do not fight the urge to scream when you first see the water turn pink. The way you rub your face into your cats fur and begin the long wail.  Let them down easy. Something about how not all pregnancies take. Did you have a miscarriage? Do not resist the urge to scream, red faced and reaching.  Touch your cats fur and now know the difference. You only get pregnant once.

 

“grief part 4”

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