Intrusive thoughts on infertility,
Palpable in the stifling stillness of the examining room,
Penetrate the lumpy surface of my defective womb.
Supine, like a cadaver, confined,
I am denied a glance at my sonogram on the monitor.
Radiology technician's poker face offers no clues to the big picture.
Taking a gamble –
Charm having failed as a device –
I beg her for a full view of my tumors.
From her boombox light jazz intended for heavy petting
Turns me moody, but 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 the technician's indifferent witness,
Blur my vision of a future filled with long-awaited offspring,
Underscoring that technology cannot eradicate the emotional sting.
I hasten to hoist underpants over huge hips,
Shuddering from the silence lingering in air
Frostier than a January breeze whipping my trembling lips.
But there's one last violation –
Raven-haired receptionist readies herself to collect my fine.
Her gatekeeping eyes flash a fiery red "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 striking from the head of the HMO-paid instigator.