Proof of Life

The following poem was born on a June morning in 2017 when I was living in Lisbon to attend a poetry workshop. That morning, my husband had just flown back to Oakland to return to work while I stayed behind to finish the second leg of my program. Suddenly alone, the clear blue sky had put me in a panic. While I had traversed the world by myself countless times, the constant waking moments with my husband had been an all-consuming glorious treat where to suddenly find myself alone in a foreign country felt like someone had slammed on the brakes during a wonderful joyride with him. To battle the panic, I put on Aquilo’s “You There” while I made myself busy tidying the apartment. As the song played, the panic subsided as I sat down and listened.

The solitude and song did not conjure up my husband but conjured up memories of the year before – of new life and then sudden loss the following September. A blighted ovum with a phantom placenta that continued to nourish a ghost child. My body had housed an emptiness. Alone when it shouldn’t have been. I don’t like talking about nor publishing any thoughts about what it can be like for those trying to conceive, but I had written the poem below that very morning.

Today, I unearth the same poem a year later and dedicate it to a dear friend of exemplary courage while collaborating with an amazing artist whose “every detail invokes connection between the conscious and subconscious, creationism, evolutionism, inter-dimensional existences, and the human experience into one harmonic portrait.” Last, I provide “You There” as a soundtrack to the poem below.

Be gentle. Be kind. And listen.

PROOF OF LIFE
for Reed

Blog 49 Eclipse+of+Transference
Image: “Eclipse of Transference” by Lyn Pacificar, oil on canvas, 2017

Tubes leading to
tiny tentacled hands 
or jelly petals

How well
have I gotten to know
the shy face
of my uterus 
on the gray screen 

Soft shadows
phantoms 

while a tiny swimmer
at the finish line 
burrows a sheepish egg 

Watch as the egg
blushes blue

Finally found finally saved 
or ravished? 

A planet of possibility.

A planet.

When did you belong to me?
When didn’t you?

Bahala na
Que será, será
 

I cannot be a microscopic witness

but hoping for

you there

you

there

maybe –

 

*Song: “You There” by Aquilo, Believe Recordings, April 7, 2014
© Aquilo under exclusive license to Believe Recordings

 

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