Broken Shells

‘Your mother-in-law is responsible for your husband’s sperm velocity. It’s got to do with genetics,’ the doctor says.

‘I thought the sperm had no choice,’ she inquires, ‘isn’t the egg mighty and the sperm one too many?’

‘No. Sperms can be choosy too,’ says the doctor.

He scratches in higher dosages of protein on her file. ‘You know even when the female mosquito straws out our blood, it is to pass on protein to her eggs. At your age: 34, your uterus is already 40. Our organs age differently. So take enough of Soy protein, Vitamin D 1000, Iron 1000…’

She segregates medicines into containers and sets alarms to remind her of hourly ingestions. Every 14th day of her cycle there are physical examinations, sonography, and ovulation studies. Sometimes prescribed sex with her husband in the normal way and sometimes his sperm pushed into her through a thin, translucent tube.

Through all this, there is a face of a baby she has imagined. It waddles in its nappy around her fringe legs in waiting rooms. It cackles for her coo’s, coddling, cuddling in her deep sleep. She can sense its soft skin under hers.

                                                                        full moon again...

                                                                  buying sanitary pads after

                                                                        pregnancy test kits

She uses confirmations, mental affirmations, mantras almost like lullabies and nursery rhymes, that she repeats day after day besides Om Om Om from the positive-outlook CDs.

Her follicles don’t grow. If they do, they don’t have an egg in them. If they do and rupture, the egg wins against the sperm in the labyrinth of her womb. If the sperm meets the egg, it exerts its choice of not choosing.


empty nest syndrome –

the eggs

that were never laid