The ghost of my pregnancy, a large
amorphous vapor, much larger than me,
comes when I am alarmed to comfort me,
though it, too, alarms me, and I dodge
away, saying “Leave me alone,” and the ghost,
always beneficent, says, “You’re a tough one
to do things for.” The ghost must have done
this lots, it so competently knows I’m lost
and empty. It returns the fullness and slow
connection to all the world just as it is.
When I let it surround me, the embrace is
more mother than baby. How often we don’t know
the difference. It’s not a dead little thing
without a spinal chord yet, but a spirit of
the parent we all ought to have had, of
possibility. “I was meant to be dead.” Thinking
why it said it was meant to be dead brings
the tangible comfort: how I used the foetus
shamelessly, how the brief pregnancy showed us,
its father and me, these choices, not shriveling
but choice alive with choice, alive with what’s not
taken, or taken up, both pulsing with direction,
for some mistakes are re-takes, or correction,
past times that were forsaken now held when caught.
I never say goodby to the ghost for
I’ve forgotten it’s been there. That’s what it’s for.
The thought of the pregnancy somehow unmoors
the anxiety the choice still harbors.