Three days after my birthday
_______while I sat in a theater and watched

______________a movie without sound.
_____________________The walk alone in the snow.

The morning I fainted
_______in the bathroom, the toilet lid

______________cracking against my neck.
_____________________Standing on the evening train

from London, rain dripping
_______off bicycles in the aisle. Eighteen,

______________drinking vodka on the front lawn.
_____________________Waking from surgery

in the wrong country.
_______The day at the beach when we drew

______________caskets in the sand
_____________________and buried the empty eggs.

Twenty-three weeks.
_______Swallowing six pills each day.

______________Slipping on ice.
_____________________The moment I felt the baby

move while eating breakfast at the airport.
_______The first time my eardrum burst on a flight.

______________Each goodbye. Each kettle
_____________________scorched on the stove.

The idea of her. The idea
_______of not her.

______________Ten days after the blood work.
_____________________One week after the biopsy.

Swallowing the stitches.
_______The argument across the bridge, mouth

______________of a fish brushing the water.
_____________________Forty-three hours awake.

Heat wave in Berlin, the baby
_______just an idea circling the nest.

Kerri French