This poem came to me during my pregnancy with my first (and only) child, Clare. I don’t remember how far along I was—probably sometime in the 2nd or 3rd trimester—but pregnancy is known to cause vivid dreams in women and that certainly happened during those nine months. Not even just dreams, but visions during the day, often of terrible things. I sometimes felt like Cassandra in Agamemnon, that I’d have these horrible visions and no one would believe me. One day, as I was grading papers at our dining room table, I remember calling my husband at work in tears, begging him to drive home carefully because I was terrified that he was going to have a car accident on his way home. So this poem was based on a dream (nightmare?) that I had—that I was in a bathroom (not mine, and not one I recognized) and started bleeding, and it thickened to look and feel almost like silly string and I was pulling it out of me, standing in a shower, having some crazy miscarriage. When I woke up, I felt overwhelmed and scared, as though the dream was some awful premonition. But it was only a bad dream, as I gave birth to a happy and healthy girl at 40 1/2 weeks.
—Melissa Garcia Criscuolo
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