Maggie Nelson (b. 1973, San Francisco, California, USA)

Written by Maggie Nelson

The Argonauts, 2015

We check into the labor wing. The nurse is nice. Freckled, heavy-set, Irish-seeming. She says five centimeters. People are happy, I am happy. Jessica tells me the hard part is over, she says getting to five centimeters is the hard part. I am nervous but relieved. Jessica asks for room number 7. The hospital is blessedly slow, quiet, empty.

Room number 7 is lovely, dark. We can see Macy’s from the window. Whitney Houston has just been found dead in a hotel about ten blocks away, the Beverly Hilton. The nurses are talking about it in hushed tones as they come and go. Was it drugs, I manage to ask from the cavern. Probably, they say. In our labor room there is a bathtub, a scale, and a baby warmer. Maybe there will be a baby.


© 2015 Maggie Nelson; Minneapolis: Graywolf Press

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