The Call

Rosanna Staffa

Rosanna Staffa

Thinking about my sister. Her disbelief in me. Age is a nightmare, she said. I am in the kitchen, no moonlight, standing like a stranger. In a bedroom across the country, she is putting her children to bed. They have two names. I would give my child butter and sugar on toast in the morning. One name.

The phone is in my hand. I watch it with ennui. My sister screamed to call an ambulance immediately. Ah.Yes. I can hear the soft clicking of the numbers in my head. She said to stay calm, which I did. Her voice was surging and collapsing, as if battered by waves. I go to the refrigerator; look inside, close it. Surprising, how little there is in it. I think about Dante, his journey alone. Mid-life. I sit; watch my fingers spread wide over my belly. The window is open.

Until the moment I dial, I am still pregnant. My uterus is bleeding. Not you, said the Archangel Michael. So long. And left.


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