by Karla Ceja
Artwork, “Shadows of Baseball” by Mitchell Price
I glide my hands over the scarred skin,
Slowly rubbing in the cocoa butter.
I feel a little soft kick that brings a soft smile to my lips,
But that little smile doesn’t last.
A dark miasma fills the air,
Adding even more pressure on my already swollen feet.
Don’t drink any coffee.
Don’t eat the wrong foods,
Don’t carry anything heavy,
Don’t smoke anymore,
Don’t. Don’t. DON’T.
I begin to scratch again,
I leave little bloody trails as my nails dig into the skin.
I know I shouldn’t do it but I can’t help it.
I just can’t.
Taking care of this child is my top priority,
Or at least it should be,
That’s what my doctor tells me,
That’s what they all tell me.
But what do they know?
They’ll never know.
I sigh and lift my hands off,
Before turning the knob,
and washing it out from under my fingernails.
I flick the light off and shut the door.
It’s time to go downstairs.
It’s time to make some dinner.
I slowly walk down the stairs,
My breath begins to hitch.
A little fall was all it took.
A little slip down the stairs.
Falling flat on my face,
Flat on the baby.
Warm fluid pools around me,
Slowly seeping into my clothes.
I weep and caress my sagging skin,
The little kicks are gone.
I thought I wanted this,
But I was wrong.