She looks at her hands and these are not her hands gliding shaver over shivering skin, scalping the chicken-flesh in peeling shower fog:
Daddy always said, never use soap, didn't say shit about the cold, use soap instead of cream, daddy says, and you'll get bubble-veins just like your ugly hag mother and no man'll ever rub his hands up and down legs with bubble veins and black stubble trapped under the skin like pepper in chicken gravy. Daddy wouldn't touch your legs like that.
Rocky, he touches anyway though she got the pepper-legs, cream or no, he touches anyway, slides his trapped-dirt fingernails up to her rounding belly & squeezes like kneading dough. Those tomatoes will come up nice, think he likes tomatoes?
The tall bush was wilting in its collapsing barrel on the fire escape, the leaves dotted with sun-scorched holes, she told him not to water in 4-o-clock August sun but he sleeps before that and drinks after and it's nothing she didn't expect no how, how he sells food stamps for whiskey and only give her a little and come in stinking and rutting like she had enough to want it too.
She quits her pills because of baby and finds herself hauling TV Guides to the dumpster, scrubbing dried piss from the puppy off the baseboards and stops to launch a kick or two.
Don't you give a fuckin' shit? She screams and Rocky paces the apartment hallway.
Don't you know any fuckin' damn thing? She screams and Rocky punches the drywall.
Get a fuckin' job! She screams and lights a Newport from the gas burner.
You don't want me, you don't want him! She screams, and grabs a knife from the sideboard.
I'll slit my fucking throat! She screams, and Rocky calls his in-laws.
The cops come first, daddy follows, the neighbors gather with the deepening shadows. She kneads her squeezing belly and thinks whether he's better without her. These days she can't decide if she wants him to love her, leave her, or push her down the stairs.
Whatever will be better for them both.