Ultrasounds & Bookstores

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My aunt would take me to the bookstore
each time she had a miscarriage.

She would browse through each row,
immersing herself in the pages and words and letters,
trying to lose herself.

She still keeps the ultrasound pictures in her bag,
four baby girls.

She named them, too.

Mia, August 7th 2001
Grace, January 19th 2004
Lucy, April 2nd 2006
Charlotte, November 13th 2009

She left copies of the ultrasounds in books.
Maybe she was hoping that she could leave some of her sadness there, too.

Now every time I go to a bookstore,
I can only think of ultrasounds,
and emptiness,
and death.

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