Sal accepted the epidural anesthetic but it was still the worst physical pain she had ever borne in her life. She was amazed at herself when she didn’t just pass out. Friends had warned her as daintily as they could about the pain and sweat and mess of bodily fluids, all of which they said was worth the trouble. But no one had mentioned that she would see the life of the universe pass before her eyes, and feel the tug of the moon at her heart, and hear the songs of all the waters on the earth.

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I can hear it moving, I think. It’s hard to tell with the other noises. A car whooshing by sometimes. Some cat moving through the bushes outside. A neighbor went to the bathroom a few minutes ago. I jerked when I heard the sound of the water moving through the pipes. If I squeeze my eyes shut and focus, I think I can hear it breathing.

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