When you call your husband to tell him you’ve had a miscarriage he’s not going to care. He ripped your body up like a lawn mower chewing grass and your ribs expanded to match the slow outward bulge of your stomach, and he couldn’t care less. Maybe you lost it (and you don’t want to call it “it” but you never named it, paged through all the books and never settled on one, but for lack of a better word you’ve got to call it that) in the bath, or riding the bus or walking to work. Who knows. But wherever it happened, however it happened, that doesn’t change the fact that you lost it.
When you go in for a routine checkup weeks later and the doctors say there’s scar tissue down there, too much to give it another try, you’ve got the pills in the cupboard but you’re too afraid to use them. You start thinking of your body as a sinking ship, going down further every second into the dark waters. There’s the deck and it’s splintered and ragged, every wooden beam pulsating with grief. And somewhere out there in the distance is an iceberg and you’re going to hit it. It’s only a matter of when.
Your husband’s not going to give a fuck about the blood between your legs. You’re drunk on your own pain; he’s drunk on the real stuff. The heart wants to give in. So do the lungs and the kidneys. Even the throat wants to close. You can’t stop thinking about those tiny feet, those fingers that would have wrapped around yours. The whole upstairs attic is still decorated with the crib and the streamers and the lights and stuffed animals. The crib is still empty but your mind fills it in.
Let’s pretend the local museum calls up and wants to know if they can display the bones. Let’s pretend you tell them no.
Let’s pretend they’re already displayed in your heart.
- Meggie C. Royer, in Writings for Winter (blog).