Perimenopausal Bebop


Intrusive thoughts on infertility,

Palpable in the stifling stillness of the examining room,

Penetrate the lumpy surface of my hijacked womb.



Like a cadaver,


I’m denied a peek at the sonogram’s monitor,

Only a poker face offering no clues to the sci-fi picture.


Taking a gamble –

Charm having failed as a device –

I beg the technician for a full view of the aliens. (No dice)


From her boombox,

Light jazz intended for heavy petting

Turns me moody,

Though not in the “saxy” way James’ bebopping horn blows

In the serenade beginning:

“There I go, there I go, there I go, ther-r-r-re I-I go-o-o-o …”


Belly-buckling sobs drown out indifferent witness,

Blur my vision of a future filled with ornery offspring,

Underscoring that technology can’t eradicate emotional sting.


I hasten to hoist underpants over hamhocks and hips,

Shuddering from the silence lingering in air

Frostier than a January breeze lashing unkissed lips.


But, alas, a final violation –

Raven-haired receptionist dispenses humiliation,

A well-rehearsed line to collect my fine,

Her gatekeeping eyes flashing a No Exit sign.


At this existential impasse,

I long for the lesser of two evils:  a Sartrean hell.

Then, repetition of my name breaks the philosophical spell.


“Do I pay now?”

“Oh, you’ll pay later.”

My fate is sealed as I watch serpents

Strike amid the tresses of the HMO-paid instigator.


Copyright © 2000/2011 By Chantale Reve


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