The Problem of Immediacy

With motherhood it just takes so long
to get used to all the change that happens in the first year alone
like I’m five years in and only occasionally do I think hey these are my
breasts now, hi, chest that fed the masses, who they are on me now, some story.
Mostly I think they look funny. I think of the sharp pain they gave me
forever while I nursed. How no one could solve that. All the LCs
just going on about all the same problems that weren’t mine. All the friends
talking about the beauty of the breast as if trying to convince themselves.
And me, just tolerating every day until I could make some sense of it.
That’s kind of how I go on, feeling awful and restless, wondering when I can make
something of it already, not so much when will it be over, because everything is awful
a lot of the time, but when will it connect to the next moment, something I can think of
if not with affection – a limited emotion – then triumph, the artist’s triumph
of oh yeah, that thing, sure, it was like this. Able to say what it resembled.
Which gives the impression that it’s over, that I’ve claimed some power over it.
But that’s false too, because the past is always living inside moving blood into to my heart with
all the other veins. So it’s the filter I need, some skein of time that thickens relations
and complicates the present, braiding it into the old blood, all the new blood
until it’s no longer on me, but in me, something like science fiction, secreted away.
I think I’m supposed to stay open. Who on earth can do that? Stay open.
Sometimes you have to close. You have times, like the morning glory family,
which is convolvulus. Convulsions. The time my daughter had a febrile seizure
I’d never been so scared of loss. I didn’t know what was happening. Or when I was
later pregnant and bleeding, right before I found out it was twins. Both times: the fear of all this
emotional upheaval, this difficulty, for nothing. Despair should be for something? We wish.
Let there be another feeling on the other side of this one. There is a reason
women are compared to flowers. The vulva opens so hard and then what. Nothing’s more
epic than that, the body making a door, and the body knowing it has, ever after, has a door.
It’s the first metaphor, and all worn out, but I don’t know what the last one is.

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