Her Name Was Hope

By: Q.

I gripped the bathroom counter with an intensity mirrored in the gripping pain in my abdomen
Black spots, swimming like fruit flies in the southern summer filled the thick air in front of me as I stumbled to the toilet
Angry Crimson searing flesh
Hot cold sweat
Ripping and gasping and silent tears barely pushed out from the eyes screwed shut
And there was blood everywhere
All over
I threw away the bathmat so my mother wouldn’t know
And I took the pink baby booties I had shoplifted from Toys ‘R Us out of my bottom drawer
I sat in the bottom of my closet, in the corner with my old backpacks, holding those shoes against my womb sobbing for the baby, the toddler, the child, the teenager I would never know

I’m older now
My body is rounded and my life is heavy in the hips, ready for the carrying of a much welcomed birth
The second’s slowly ticking by with my eyes glued to the stick on the edge of the bathtub
One line
I closed the bathroom door and slid onto the floor, throwing the failed test against the wall and sobbing
Hot tears too familiar
Burning in my chest cavity a swimming in my head
Hours later I come out and take the pink baby blanket I bought at Toy’s ‘R Us into the closet
And I sit on the floor, in the corner next to my wedding dress, pressing it against my womb and crying for the baby, the toddler, the child, the teenager I may never know

And when the doctor reminds me that having children is unlikely I am reminded of the trauma my body has already experienced time and time again
And perhaps I cannot carry a child when the hateful remnants of my many violations grow and fester, a black sludge in my womb

Where I pray for only light