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Prompted Writing: "I am from"

I am from my brother’s flesh. Or he is from mine.

I am from two wombs

One womb: the way God intended—a balloon inside my mother’s body
Shared space
Shared space

The other womb: a Plexiglas box in a cold, bright hospital room
With wires and tubes to deliver blood, oxygen, and food--instead of the umbilical cord that braided together with my brother’s to form a nearly solid brick

With pillows and memory foam to keep my joints from overextending

With goggles to keep out the light

Tubes down my throat to help me breathe
A tube snaking through my nose into my stomach to deliver food
A tube under my skin to bring blood in
A tube in my foot to take it out

My second womb had everything my first one didn’t: air, light, noise, gravity. The warmth of my mother’s bosom.

I am from the technology that made Stevie Wonder blind.

I am from the hospital protocol that decided to save babies born so young
Decades ago I might have been thrown out with the laundry

I am from wrinkled red skin, like a raw elephant

I am from the prayers of devout grandmothers
From Cadillac health insurance and bright, shiny metropolitan hospitals

I am from the place where faith and science fiction intersect

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This is profound and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your way with words.

Wow, this is beautiful and powerful, Janine. Brava. Such great visceral details.

thank you!

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