Author: Hari Navarro

My daughter is born into the whore spit snarl of a Cape Hatteras hurricane. Beautiful and waxy, her delicate scent distilling the shedded taint of my own sweat, piss, and blood. Blue nostrils flare as tiny lungs struggle to fill, but for this, I apportion her no blame. The fault is mine, though really it isn’t. This the twisting helix that drills ever back through me into her and back and then back; gestational diabetes my most unwanted of genetic gifts. Carry on baby unwrapping your toys, I’m so sure they’ll compensate – the elegant slice of my jaw, the flat of my belly and a dogged inability to produce stretch marks a perfection confection of body just for you.

Your arrival will see to it that, due to a hypertensive spike, we’ll stay in this ward and I’ll be kept from that my most coveted of days. Christmas, but again how are you to know how special it is to me? To be wrapped with your father before a flamed hearth that pops as we gleefully disrespect the nog, this the day that we met – it’s mine and not yours to take.

But alone in this room, you squirm in my arms as a bubble forms at your lip, my wants they shuffle and confuse as I inhale the wispy float of your hair.

What a beautiful and well-mannered little girl they’ll hiss between teeth struck closed by jealousy’s sticky tar; damn how I love when it sprouts. But one day you’ll creep into my study and hunt out the album, its cover patinaed with age. You’ll flick through the pages and find those that sparkle and snip them to pieces you will. Irreplaceable and dear, but then girls will be girls and how can I condemn you for youth?

At sixteen you’ll smoke and slice at your skin, you’ll curse at your father and let a girl touch your body, three of these things I can take…

“Scroll back, I’d like to see that self-harming thing again… maybe it’s something we could deal with?”, so says the man who cannot deal with toast that is not relieved of its crust.

I sigh, “Why bother, why settle for skirting the rim when we can roll out a slam-dunk?”.


“Yes Mother”, her life-grab simulation flickering before me.

“… I was happy to have met you”, I say turning my daughter off.

The doctor’s hologram needlessly swivels as he speaks,

“Don’t worry the sample was good, actually very good… “, winking at my way too conceited husband.

“The initial deposit is still very much viable, seven milliliters… way, way above the average sample. As you know that’s some 700 million possible life-grabs. The overseer routine is working overtime to weed out the obvious rejections but your projected lifestyle parameters are so superbly detailed… I wish all of our prospective parents were so thorough. Be patient. Your perfect daughter, or son as may be, is in there. Trust me, seven milliliters, actually 7.3… “, he snorts, again nodding at my husband as if eggs are not as important as beans in the making of this artificial feast.

“… a Thor-sized spawn if ever I’ve seen one”, the self-evolved sexism exhibited by these sentient AI Med drones never ceases to amaze me.

My husband straightens in his chair as I think he remembers that I have a 3:30 appointment with Donald, my buttock augmenter.

“What do you say, honey, got time to review one more?”, he asks.

My son is born into the whore spit snarl of a Cape Hatteras hurricane.