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/jaime jacques

Broken Sestina

Cold wand glides over my belly inside the clinic in Buenos Aires. Ultrasound confirms what I don’t want. Hay un solución por todo, the gentle doctor says. My solution is parsley tea and vitamin c. We can believe anything when fear moves in. The alarm in my head won’t stop alarming until I have a glass of wine. The wine started this. No, my mother started this. Your mother stands in front of the beeping fridge door: Que está pasando con todo esta perejil? My mother when I was 14: Get yourself pregnant and you’ll be on the street. Now I am 30, the perfect age to be pregnant if panic didn’t raise me. On the bus, a baby girl holds my eyes over the shoulder of her mother. You look at me in a way that pleads It’s a sign. As if this were an American movie, as if fear wasn’t unpacking it’s bags, demanding the security code. How did I miss the signs? The spotting, nausea. Answer: the wine. My solution was always to travel, even when standing still. Before the abortion the nurse says It’s ok to wait until you are ready to be a mother. I only ask How long does it take for the sedative to kick? You stop answering my calls. I hold your memory between my teeth. Fear enters every room of the house. The alarm is screaming. Years later we travel through BA the same week, eat choripan, drink wine in the street. You show me pictures of your son back in Italy, cheat on her with me, not the mother, the next one. We were both always looking to the horizon. Wherever I travel, the world says mother and I say no.

Jaime Jacques is an itinerant writer who currently calls the east coast of Canada home. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Cagibi, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Cheat River Review. She is the author of Moon El Salvador and her reporting and creative nonfiction can be found in Salon, NPR, Narratively, and Roads and Kingdoms among others. Find her on Instagram @calamity__jaime.

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