On Cradling Egos

The women here have beautiful faces, expressions that acknowledge each other but are not looking to gossip during this time of rest and repose. They understand what the others’ bodies have been through, are going through; they don’t need to compare themselves. I am expecting to be in a field of swollen orbs, but their developed bellies surprise me in their differences: oblong, rectangular, elliptical, egg­-shaped, not quite a perfect circle nor a sphere, but just rotund. Sitting in our first pose, propped against a fabric bolster vertical against the wall, it strikes me very suddenly that I am surrounded by patient feti floating inside these women at prenatal yoga, where I am not one of them but instead a hungry child sneaking through a candy shop. I think of chocolate WonderBalls, the soft milky shell easily destructed to access the sugary tart sweets inside, rattling around in the hollow of the chocolate when you shake the foil­-wrapped ball before consuming it.

Or perhaps these women are more like Tootsie Pops, orbs of gauzy layered colors of sugar, spun into a circle that lick after lick has deformed, the brown wad of chewy candy at the center awaiting its freedom from the crystallized fossil it has become inside the lollipop. How many licks does it take to get to the center? Nine months.