The Blue Pitcher

that which may be filled and emptied

Month: September, 2010

The Aesthetician

There are people you must tell, people who knew you were pregnant: the lady who wanted to start the book club, your boss, the Russian woman who waxes you.

Today, she has your leg lifted in the air and you remember absently, something in her voice, how she once told you of her brother, back home, how he suffers from schizophrenia. The winters, she had said, are the worst.

Now, she clicks her tongue at you. Exercising? she says. Not when you are with a baby! In my culture, she tells you, it is believed that a pregnant woman carries a bundle of glass. Glass, she repeats. Too fragile. She shakes her head.

The g in her fragile is a hard g, the g of fragments, of figments, of figs. She lifts your other leg, and you think again of broken things. Outside, the sun is warm, maybe the last really warm sun of the year. Don’t worry. You’ll be back in it soon.

To Lose

To lose; as in, misplace; as in, it took my mother years to forgive me for losing that old blue sweater; or to lose, as in not win; as in, every time I play Scrabble with my mother I’m reminded of what it means to lose, I mean, really lose.

And then, there is this: after a long summer and the sideways glances, the saying it: I lost the baby. Louder, again, because maybe they didn’t hear. Lost. Or understand. I lost the baby, I say; the baby was lost. Or hearing it whispered through thin cubicle walls: there was a baby; she lost it.

I keep imagining flipping the couch cushions and dumping out all my bags, tearing the whole house apart, root to stem, the whole place unearthed for a singular recovery.

Instead, I roll the grammar of it all in my head: to lose, to have lost, lost. Lost. And suddenly, I find myself in the classroom with my new students, and I am fumbling with folders, Welcome, I say. Where do we begin?