I am home!
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You are feeding the baby. Nastenka is drawing paisleys on your stockings.
“What a delicious rug rat,” I say, among other baby words to her, as I take away the crayon and sweep her up.
You work in holy silence. You concentrate on our sweet baby girl wearing the hilarious bib. I know that creamy goop and your mothering is why our girls are so sweet.
I do not help you. I do not distract her so you can sneak in a dab of vegetable mush into her mouth. I do not hear you ask me to pop the linguine con carne into the microwave. I watch your mouth, that unforgettable, sweet, Cupid's-bow mouth. I watch it tense up into a disapproving bowtie - and you look so maternal, so librarian, so schoolteacher, and so immoral. I wish I had more baby clones of you with whom to crawl around on the carpet now.
You do not ask me about the day at the consulate. You do not even get up to kiss me. I do not mind. You know it was a long Orwellian party meeting through which I sat playing with the visa stamp, daydreaming, trying to guess the divine purpose behind the heavenly creases of your lips.
In my perfect suit I lean on the equally spotless sink and I am a voyeur: you sit prim and proper in front of the high chair, knees together, your well-groomed sleek hands guiding nourishment into my flesh-and-blood that we made in your image. Dashenka is blowing bubbles, your lips are poised as if to blow out a tiny candle. You cajole her queenly. She gurgles the food, and finally, for my pleasure, spits it into your face. Your beauty is steadfast. I clean your delicious face with kisses.
You smile in protest.
I am about to make you pregnant.