By Monika Dziamka

February 14, 2022


The AC rattles above me, but all else is silent, so silent, so blissfully silent. My baby is asleep at grandma’s tonight, across town and across space so wide and deep and needed that I now almost don’t quite know what to do with all this time. (Write? Read? Sleep. Stretch?) But I’m hungry, too. (Order Indian? Pick up Thai? Leftovers. Make popcorn?) But I want to binge on TV, too. (Hulu? Netflix? HBO. Nightly news?) How can minutes move so differently when you’ve got a baby, and when you don’t? I should exercise, to get back to my body. I should meditate, to get back to my mind. I should look for work, to get back to my career. But since nothing is as it was, how can one get back to anything? I manage to pour a glass of vodka over ice with near-flat soda water from an opened bottle that’s been waiting in the corner of the fridge for nearly two weeks, slowly leaking all that makes it vibrant. Still, there’s a little sparkle left. I plop in fat, pale, perfect lychees from a can I find in a child-proofed cupboard under the toaster oven. Lychee martini, August 2020. Mother’s heartache, timeless. There’s a pandemic going on, and still, there are too many options. Too much sudden freedom. “Cheers,” I finally say, or with finality, to the rattling air conditioner. I take a sweet sip and think of the length of my baby’s eyelashes.


Monika Dziamka is a first-generation Polish American writer, editor, and proud Burqueña living in Albuquerque, NM. Connect with Monika and read more of her work at www.monikadziamka.com.


Picture by Daniel Hooper courtesy of Unsplash

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