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by Renee Emerson


Each week the technician presses the wand across my womb. I
know better than to ask for interpretations, the half-heart still
flickering, a bird’s wing caught in a trap. Cells multiply slowly,
turn aside docile as winter leaves. I throw away my harp, no
longer interested in what God knows. If I would just be more
grateful, says the pastor’s wife, tears in her heaven-blue eyes, for
what I have. Measured footsteps of doctors stalk the off-white
halls. The fetal echo lights up red and blue where there should be
nothing, but no one speaks to me, no longer a woman who has
never had anything happen, who can rest her hands on herself,
and expect nothing but goodness and mercy all the days of her