The Upper East Side office is on the ground floor of a brownstone. The brass handle is heavy in my hand as I push the door open and step into a room occupied by several women reading magazines.
A large glass bowl filled with Kingfisher daisies sits on a low glass table in the middle of the waiting area.
My soon to be husband is waiting for me, pats the seat next to him. A single slant of sun bisects the floor. He holds my hand and I cross my legs and swing one foot in and out of the light.
Through the small glass window of reception I can see a large bulletin board tacked with pictures of babies.
Triplets in matching jumpsuits.
Chubby babies in the bath. Babies blowing bubbles. Babies with big wet gummy smiles.
Several blue petals lie on the floor under the glass table like small breathless fish.
I’m thinking about scans. An MRI in two days. A CAT scan the day after that. I wonder if cancer lights up a bone like shoots of bright spring flowers.
The intake form asks how long have you been trying to conceive and number of miscarriages.
I am thinking about chemotherapy. Nausea. My hair. The wedding.
The exam room is non-descript other than an ultrasound machine plugged into the wall. The gown I wear has small green diamonds across it, ties once around the neck, once around the waist.
There is a photograph of a small white boat and impossibly blue water.
My soon to be husband is on the doctor’s rolling stool, careening back and forth across the tiny room. He is trying to make me laugh.
For a moment I hate him.
For a moment I want to be very small and climb up his solid body to his broad shoulders and whisper go, go.
I will myself to leave. I feel unreasonable. I feel oddly reasonable. I imagine walking out the door in the green gown, climbing on the next bus, climbing into bed.
The doctor is tall and I am transfixed by the gray curls brushing the top of his coat. His shoes are impeccable. Italian. I hate him. I feel like a beggar. Please give me some embryos.
I imagine how the doctor must sit on the edge of his bed early in the morning as his wife sleeps. How he must bend to tie his shoes so carefully as not to shake the bed.
He shakes my hand. Asks questions. I want to shake him. I want to yell, Don’t you know I might be dying? He explains the ultrasound. Inserts the wand. Says here is your uterus and here is your right ovary.
I see moonscape. Sand. A terribly still ocean. A static field.
I feel my husband to be put his hand on my forehead and think of E.E. Cummings:
love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail
it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea
love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive
it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky
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