19. the meaning of feeble during the day august in mid-heat, i learn the meaning of the word feeble. early in the morning, my uterus (size of a pear) felt the crush of an unborn baby's hands. my forearms and feet chilled, blood rushed to the whorl of furious strain in my belly. i've learned that bearing the pain like the ancients conveys little relief in this era of disbelief -- brings no rain, no endorphins flooding to obliterate the ache of arched smooth muscle. i reached for the bedside cabinet, no liquor, instead a motley of pills, liquids, creams. a box of children's grape-flavored throat lozenges. pills, prescription strength ibuprofin from my operation. a tube of hemorrhoid cream, a common curse of pregnancy. there! the blue-boxed menstrual formula, thank god, take enough and i would feel like walking among seraphims. mid-day now, leaning, lethargic in my chair at work, my mind is dazed, drifting; my body, feeble, while the slightest arm movement or twitch of finger saps my physique of animation, the reserves empty. every word has visual connotations -- i envision a feeble old man; a sick patient: feeble; a wounded soldier, gashed and feeble; a dog with tire marks, twitching yet feeble; a woman after being beaten, feeble. myself: bleeding, drugged, feeble, progressively weaker and afraid that if i stand up and move anywhere, i might faint. later after work, i scrounge a free roll left in the staff room and walk, breathing heavily, past the main plaza outside. behind the construction fences, i see a medium-sized tractor, heavy metal, weighty, thick, full tires, blunt scoop. who could have thought of designing such a machine, its tread and maw churning through generations of life, seed, bringing death across this giving earth.