There's nearly an entire month you can't account for, when (you were told)
you were confined in the hospital. First or second grade, scabby-kneed, hard 
to feed, breaking out in hives and blisters; nose bleeds almost every day. 
Confine—a word that only brings up images of a high bed with a metal
frame; a drafty room, the old-building smell (like yellow piss, like peeling
paint and antiseptic. Nurses came at intervals to check your temperature or 
bring a glass of water to your lips, bitter liquid in little dosage cups. In the hallways, 
the sound of wheels rolling across tile. Years later this is the same hospital where 
you give birth to your third child— every single time the resident pushed her thick
fingers in to check the progress of dilation, she'd say 2 cm. Unreal. It's the same
hospital where your father passed away on a makeshift pallet, the walls having 
collapsed in the aftermath of earthquake. You can't remember how many days 
and nights there was no running water, no power, no gas, no telephone service. 
A drama of tents sprang up in parks. There was rain and mud, and makeshift 
stoves into which you pushed torn newspapers. Box of matches,  black-
bottomed pot from the ruined kitchen; tins of sardines, can opener.  
Grocers handing out bread through a hole in the wall.

Flies led rescue teams to bodies.
The dead got their coffins. For such
things, there are actually records.

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