She is pregnant, but she won’t be pregnant for long. She sits on the 83 bus with her hand on her abdomen like she’s seen more-pregnant women do. The man in front of her smells strongly of cigarettes, or is it only a faint dusting of tar and chemicals on his jacket? Has he only walked quickly through the cloud of someone else’s exhale, her senses somehow stronger than before this minor change, which she will now change back? That is also a possibility.

The robotic voice with its hint of feminine qualities announces her stop. She smiles at the side of the bus driver’s face and says thank you, because she is thankful that she has not been made to walk. Later she will be groggy and say thank you after the nurses smile at her and give her pamphlets with instructions that she will tuck next to prescriptions in her purse. There is a bottle of water in there that she anticipated needing, and she does. Her mouth is so dry. It will feel dry for days.

She stands on the sidewalk as the bus pulls away, pushing warm air that smells like the city at her.

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