The Palace of Waiting Rooms

Once the patient has had the blastocytes transferred into her uterus, the patient must closely monitor pregnancy symptoms by tying a spoon to a string & hanging it in her window. At this stage, the fertilized egg has developed into a two-to-four cell embryo emyo. The transfer process involves a speculum which is inserted into the palace where the Queen lies asleep, dreaming of a girl with lips x ray as rose & scan as white as snow. A predetermined number of embryos are suspended in the trees. The prince approaches, sword in hand, guided by ultrasound. The procedure is pain- less, but some women experience the feeling of prayer inside their bodies, a planet of belief emerging from the black.

Side effects include pacing in the kitchen in the blonde light & criss-crossing the days off the calendar, which braid themselves to the moon. The patient can then turn on the faucet & run a bath & dump the peaches & the apples & the pomegranates into the water & lie there floating in the blonde light, interpreting the seed unraveling in her, so that the egg might braid itself to itself & find its X, like the lovely tissue braiding itself to the blonde light, the pomegranate for the rose red lips, peaches for the golden hair, & apples for the wood of the body. In rare cases, fertility drugs may cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, which causes a build-up of fluid in the abdomen & chest, but to combat this, look inward & swim in the fluid of the heart.

Statistics vary from one clinic to another & must be carefully interpreted. Cold days: boy. Warm days: girl. Chocolate cake: boy. Cheesecake: girl. Labrador: boy. Housecat: girl. Pork chops for dinner: boy. Flossing: girl. Lungs: boy. Heart: girl. Earlobes: boy. Car accident: girl. Red light: boy. Mirror: girl. Palm trees: boy. Transmission fluid: low. Check engine.

The patient may drive to the clinic on a Tuesday, thirteen minutes before ten o’clock, & walk into a light blue envelope waiting room. The patient may not care to clasp hands with her partner while he checks messages on his phone.

The water cooler may burble out of nowhere, calling the patient’s attention to the corner of the waiting room where a woman may yank a brush through her daughter’s rareness, jostling her about the room.

Vanessa Angelica Villarreal is an MFA candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she teaches Creative Writing and acts as fiction editor for Timber. Her work has appeared in The Potomac Review, The Colorado Review Online, and elsewhere.