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No-Womb Woman
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No-Womb Woman

My mother is having a baby. And unless God starts answering my prayers, it will grow up without us. The baby seems to be, but isn't, my brother. This is how it was explained to me.

        Krissie says no, he's got to be our brother. But I know she thinks that because she's too little to understand any of this stuff. So I tell her it's like when Spunky has kittens and we give away the babies.

        What I wish we could do is keep him—turn the den into his bedroom—then love him and raise him ourselves—like normal people.

        We're a good family.

        Not one that's broken or blended with steps and halves. I mean, we're good with each other. My mom, dad, me, and Krissie, and we live together every day of the year.

        My mom is different now than she used to be. What this means is she's a baby incubator. For a long time, she's been busy with appointments—doctors here, and counselors and support groups in LA. She's hardly ever home—home being a rented shack on the seedy side of town.

        We live in a hilly part of Murrieta between two freeways. They hum us to sleep with braking and whizzing. On the horizon are shape-shifting hills—because of the Caterpillars and developers. My mom watches from the front porch and smiles.

        Around us are dirt roads. There are thousands of families here: frogs, rabbits, skunks, coyotes, and rattlesnakes. Some of them eat their neighbors but none of them give away their babies.

        The snakes sneak into our yard. What's scary is we never hear them. But rattles shake and things die. Like Hannah, our dog. What I'd like to know is how a snake gets through a brick wall.

        There's a picture of the four of us sitting on a boulder at Santa Rosa Plateau, eating birthday cake. There's Krissie, last year on her first day of kindergarten, and me in 6th grade. One of my dad posing with his Chevy. Another of my mom and dad hugging each other, their heads close. They're smiling.

        There are ultrasound pictures. Three of them showing an alien stretching in my mom's belly, his head like ET's, his arms little nubs, his hands and fingers even littler nubs, his legs crossed Indian style, his arms spread, his back turned. In the last one he is bigger. An arrow points to the tiny penis between his legs.