No god

photo by  Lauren Rushing

She is nine months pregnant, she tells me.
After I ask.
After a friend sends us a link to a breastfeeding article. I see her name on the message and know.

I am hurt.

Coward, I accuse. But I know that’s not it. Silence leads to silence and we haven’t spoken since just after Joseph died. According to me. It was when M was born, says she.

We have had these pauses before, but none as long as this.  I rub my fingertips together and feel that chalky residue, the contamination of Death. It is this, I guess. I am the face of Death. She is pregnant. No one wants those two to mix.

She says she’s had a difficult pregnancy. They’re checking her bile levels and she’s itchy. They might induce tomorrow.

My blood starts to race. My breath comes faster. My stomach, a familiar knot. I want to throw down my phone, unread her email, but my eyes are pulled on.

But if not, we'll just wait until the baby decides it's time to come. Trying to trust God and know that all will be well. 

I see red. Anger surges through my veins and I thrust my phone away from me, turning off the screen.  I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t

hear this shit
fucking believe it
stop worrying
talk to her
call her
tell her to run to the hospital now
keep her baby safe
I can’t I can’t I can’t
even begin to explain to her there’s no god who can assure it will all fucking be well.

What do you say to your friends who are pregnant?