My stomach is burdened, holding you inside it. A misplaced mother of a mother, mother of a father. Mommy daddy, why do you eat me? My placenta. The food I use you take half of. My body aches when you nestle in to use it, adorably warm and soft as I feel you kick. I am pregnant with failure and sex. Baby Mommy, baby Daddy, I'll tell you when you live in me I feel like a sister wife or a Mormon. The jealousy and anger, the want for love for your lover from your love that you don't like but love, or say you do. When I birth you I won't be able to give you a name, I can't think of anyone anymore. Not the ghost who chants next door, not the wall that separates me from the man I love, not the women I've been inside. Only the man at the bodega who cleans his hands between bill returns and wishes me a good day. He keeps me happy and naive that wishes like that can be acted upon. Keeps me young at my pruned, nay, over-ripened, 20.
Having a baby in you is hard when it is six feet and two inches tall. Sometimes, when I don't give it attention, it boredom-eats, jaw dash-passing my water-lunch and anchoring his tooth in my heart. Bleeding heart, bloody ventricles, blood pouring in my blood innards over the baby that smiles and chews me chews me chews me. Tantrum until a hemorrhagic stroke, baby Daddy reaching his hand up to my brain and shoving his thumbs in the lobes, playing me like a piano that sings symphony heaven-fire, human rage incentives, licking my lips to the sound of my own rippage. Baby smiles as he cries, baby likes it when my nervous system shocks and when I shut down. Baby, daddy, too big to fit out of me, I wonder how he ever got inside, that wears my flesh like a thin grey jacket down fifth avenue where he stokes me, enrobing ugly feet in luxury, heels to stilt the stinted mother. Quiet, pretty mother, hush. The soundlessness of my throat choked by an angel is his lullaby, falling asleep in my scurry-placid lap.
Sometimes, I'm having twins. Smaller, mommy curls up neatly under my skin. Quiet when she doesn't yell, she stares into the light of my uterine cavity when I scream bloody horror at the thought of dying in childbirth and if I do I hope she realizes how treacherous the birth of a woman is on a girl's body. She clutches tighter when I try to empty me of her whole. And if I cut her out, c-section, all I will do is bleed out and rupture and she will be cooking in the kitchen as if I never floated all one hundred and fifty pounds of her trauma in the pit of my bile. Blood sausage, keema, of my meat. Cretin, baby mommy, threatens needles scraping against my eardrums and her wrist up to the guillotine, wooden and sculptural with glass eyes in my shape, if I am not the mother she wants. When a baby orchestrates a double suicide, the existence of fear is trivial. Fear is not a feeling, it does not come and go, it is a swollen passage of DNA that clots your throat when you think you may grow to be something bigger than a mother.
Somewhere between my twins is the truth of motherhood. Daddy eats my present and mommy eats my future, each with their needs I cannot meet. The OBGYN tells me that life is a gift - but who is this present for, nothing more than a presence. That motherhood breeds a natural love, but I am mothering my mother and letting my father suckle til my nipples are bleeding and they don't believe that I have ever existed. A use case, I am a body, not a mother, simply giving birth.
The end of this motherhood is termination. Only when my bloated soul remains to wriggle newly pearled streets and kiss the ground I denounced breastfeeding on, I sometimes feel is when I will have peace. That's not to say my denial of forced motherhood of mommy and daddy diminishes my love for my children, they are mine after all, but a good mother has to worry if she raised her children wrong. And if in the process, she raised herself wrong too.
Someday, when I give birth to baby baby, and maybe a baby baby two and a baby baby three, I'll know the purity of choice into the parental profession. Once they leave my insides, I will not ask them to swallow me. Nor will I sit in their stomachs and play in their digestion like the gorgeous horror of an acid rain on perfectly taut young skin, I will not eat them. Or melt them. My true baby baby (one, two, and three) will not owe me recompense for my labour pains. My children will not be the office of my rebirth, nor the untempered glass I sing my high notes to. I think I will be a beautiful mother. Wrinkled and brown, never quite clean. But elegant. Soft spoken and seductive. My own success. Screaming into pillows or sighing into my husband's mouth. I will not be a mother, I will be a home, the first from the housed.