A bit of microfiction about my rather difficult pregnancy, and how the only peace and pleasure I found (from the daily waves of nausea and hostile alien terraforming of my body) was in the texture of gritty things.


The crunch of ice between my teeth – cold edges, agitated nerves, sabulous sensitivity. All coalescing into sharp points of pleasure in my body, my brain. Soothing. Assuasive. Momentary. Cup after cup of chipped ice; euphoria only until they are empty. Nausea quickly returning.

The grit of sand and salt and soap beneath my fingers, the fine powdery textures a more lasting calm. Good wards for bad memories, and worst choices, and keeping unwanted thoughts at bay. But I can only wash and cook and visit the beach for so long before I must again return to myself.

The roughness of baking soda toothpaste scraping my tongue as I brush for the fifth time in one day. Five brushings for five pukes. The corroded enamel of my teeth, stones battered by time and waves of vomit. By the time she is born, I would have stopped smiling in photos and with my eyes.

Dirt behind my eyelids, no matter how carefully I clean them. Clean eyes, soiled vision. And soil isn’t just good for growing life. It’s good for growing death too. I could scrub for years and years and never be clean, here on these desert shores, where death and life both flourish within me.

A dusting of ash is all that remains of that time now. After the eruption of esophageal trauma and peptic ulcers; after losing my tooth; and a lot of myself; and a bit of my mind; after the stretched skin and mummy’s carpel tunnel, I can feel my smile returning at last. To eyes still angry with grit.

But touched by clearer vision.

And a soul with grit of its own, far stronger than I ever possessed.

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