Carried Inside It happens in the kitchen this time. Your supper prep is interrupted. You fall, paring knife still in your hand. The bell pepper, gouged, tips over and the tiny pale whorl of a half- formed secondary pepper tumbles out. Vertigo brings you to the floor, tiles cold against your calves. You know enough to stay still. You think of the birth of your daughter, how your abdomen was sliced open like the pliant underbelly of a caught fish, how the thick purple mass of her body was wrestled from within you. It was not that long ago, but already you forget when you first heard her – did she wail or was it more of a coo? Were you reassured, knowing she would be fierce enough for this world? And what about her face – did you see it, even for a moment, before she was carried away? Before her competencies were measured and analyzed by other peoples’ hands? Your vision is a hot white expanse of nothingness, with stars at the edges. You stand once you are able, and you scrape your hand along the cutting board, dropping the scraps – the seeds and proto pepper – into the compost bin.