Even though I am no longer pregnant, for the last week or so I have felt the tiniest, gentlest flutters just below my waist on the left side. I am quite sure that it is just gas. But those movements feel just like those barely perceptible kicks that remind a woman that her body is no longer hers alone — as if she has swallowed a ghost who is looking around and tapping on the walls, thinking, Yes, I could see myself living here for a while.
Even though I am no longer pregnant, my body remembers that it once was.
At some point when I was pregnant, I heard that the baby’s cells would enter my bloodstream and stay there for the rest of my life, even after the baby had long since vacated the premises.
Rather than thinking of the little bump inside me who was shedding cells and depositing them into my bloodstream at that very moment, I immediately thought of my own cells, little pieces of ME that were floating around in a woman in Korea. I have long thought that part of my soul was still there, but it seems that parts of my body are there also. Those little cells of mine, they must go with her everywhere — sit with her on the subway, wend their way through crowded market stalls as she haggles with the shopkeepers, relax in the communal bathhouse when she takes a nice long soak. Part of me is sorry that I littered, even as a fetus who obviously didn’t know any better.
But part of me is relieved that she could not completely get rid of me, even though she tried.