Of Soup and Love

In the winter when a young woman invites a young man for chowder,

he packs a bag. I had a knapsack ready. I worked as a museum guide.

Nadine was a guard telling people, Don't touch. I loved soup.

Two months later she was pregnant. I didn't want the baby, but fed her

bread and broth, held her head when she couldn’t keep food down.

Her housemate told me Nadine planned the pregnancy. One morning,

I sat up in bed, my breath warming the air. Nadine was by the bathroom

door on her hands and knees. Moaning, hair stuck to her face, she scrubbed

blood off the white rug. She was hemorrhaging and scrubbing. I pulled

a long shirt over her. A tubal pregnancy, her doctor told me. A dark mass,

bone and tissue, blocked the fallopian tube. That spring, I held her and

kissed the scar on her stomach, my strange little signature.