Infertility

I have the same
emotional response to it as
other women.
Nothing so dramatic as a
miscarriage, my
infertility is subtle, masks itself in
bodily quirks like my
urine never having enough LH to
mark the
pee stick in double
pink lines; quirks like
pains at the wrong times, or my
body’s refusal to make an
egg on time, or at all. Quirks like
my already compromised
thyroid under attack again, by my
own body’s hand. Every
invasive procedure, they
stick things inside you in some
sick, consensual form of rape where
you desperately need this
child, and so you endure it.
Every
period like a thousand
deaths of every child I imagined from
infancy to adulthood, a hundred thousand
potential people I might have carried–
all killed in a whirlwind of cramps and a sea of blood.

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Lyme

I eat fish eggs raw from the creek, pretend they are
caviar, pick black trumpets from beneath the
spread of toothed oak leaves and–as they
fry up in cast iron, in lard from wild hogs–pretend they are
truffles. I scratch bark from willow trees, imagine that it is
aspirin, steal honey from bees and hope it might replace
antibiotics. My ailments place me among the
animals, and we all suffer in silence. I breathe in time with my solitude.
I imagine that my pounding head beats its blood-aches in
rhythm with my heart, feel the nerves tingle in toes and fingertips like
buzzes of the electric fence, felt vicariously through blades of grass, and
I pretend I am a little lightning storm. The blinding nauseous
pain moves my legs under me, even as they
stiffen with the cold morning dew.
Parasitized along with the foxes and the deer and the mice, evenings around the fire I itch
spiderbites, antbites, beestings, pick embedded ticks out of my flesh and crush them under
rocks, apply honey or salt to the wounds, bandage with cobwebs or mullein leaves. I
drink a hot tea of wild blackberry leaves, mints, pineapple weed. I heat rocks beside the
fire to place beside my sleeping bag at night. I imagine a
time when I won’t hurt all the time, and reality
slips into a dream.