By Theodosia Henney

You sink back into the pillow, drained and draining still, while the nurse calls your mother in Florida, who was named after her great aunt Delia who threw herself out of a fifteenth-story window, but not until she had traveled to Africa—or was it South America?—to kill and skin a leopard, which has hung in the attic since fur became unfashionable or cruel, whichever; but at least she had some kicks, unlike you, who have worked in accounting for the past eight years, despite your fine arts degree; you who were named after your grandmother’s mother who died alone in her bed at a properly advanced age and was found in her cabin by passing elk hunters, you swore to yourself that if you ever had a daughter, she wouldn’t turn out like you; and your mother never had a predilection for heights so you’d name the baby Delia after her (but not after her great aunt, just in case); at least your great-great aunt Delia chose her way out, and so did you, you suppose: you wanted this baby as much as she wanted the drop, certainly, but this was not a part of the plan; this was not supposed to happen to women anymore, not in America anyway, not in a Chicago hospital, not with all these tubes and white coats and shining sterile tools; you should not still be draining; your daughter should be in your arms in a pink blanket, not stuck halfway inside you, draining your O-Negative blood, which the hospital could not  re-stock, out of you with every push.

Theodosia Henney is a queer lady from a conservative state, who eats lemons raw. Her work has appeared in Ghost Ocean Magazine, and The Allegheny Review.