A month after turning forty-five, every last egg in her body is a Rockette doing the can-can. Use me use me use me, they cry, I’ll be the easy child, the I-won’t-wake-you-up-in-the-night child. Wasn’t she through with all that – after years, on streets, in restaurants when all she saw were schlepping, wrung out, haphazard, misbuttoned mothers pushing strollers loaded with groceries, a dreadful toddler riding shotgun?

Now every city block boasts the popular miracle of children’s faces. Keep away, she says to civilized men who stop at crosswalks, Do you see this glittered fertility, this fishnet stocking hunger?

The possible calls and the body lunges – rapacious – for what? – every last urgency to be the body?


Photograph by Tony Fischer

Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Special
I Like Being a Woman (And I Hate Hysterical Women)