Spring 2008





I Promessi Sposi



I carry our unborn child

into the mustard yellow car you drive.

To the smell of mothballs on your jacket.

I carry our child to your words:

“Is two hundred dollars enough for an abortion?”


I carry my child to work at Bell Telephone:

from eight o’clock until five,

I wear two girdles to hide my stomach.

The company nurse says: “Why don’t you

give up your baby for adoption?”


I carry my child to the bridal shower.

My co-workers toast the bride.

Dinner and corsage at the Maritime Plaza Hotel:

crystal milk-and-sugar set wedding gift.

Don’t tell them I carry a child.


I carry my child to Sposabella.

Buy a silk taffeta wedding dress.

Lilies of the valley bridal bouquet.

Veil and short cotton gloves.

Carry the cardboard box home.


I carry my child to the hairdresser,

the night before our nuptials.

“Mio fratello,” your sister Concetta says.

“My brother left town.”

“Puttana Ungherese!” she adds. “Hungarian whore!”


I carry our child from my parents’‚ house.

Don’t tell them: “I am getting married.”

I carry my child to the night wedding.

The priest doesn't say:

“You may now kiss the bride.”



Ilona Martonfi

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