6.08 / July 2011

Remarks My Immigrant Mother Has Made About Babies

Supposedly that baby is smiling; his mouth becomes one line. Supposedly he is satisfied with himself. What does he have to be satisfied about? The nose is too wide in the middle.

She didn’t want her mother; she only wanted to come to me. She came into my arms and looked directly in my face. I talked to her and immediately she was quiet, with a deep quiet. As though feeling relief I was me and not her mother. I think she will be intelligent.

I wouldn’t call her cute, no.

If you put for him a hat and cigar he looks exactly like Winston Churchill.

There is something like a judge in his look, very somber. The face is not symmetrical. One side goes up, like this, and the other side is straight.

The ears at the top have too much skin but where is the chin? Missing. Ideally we would take some from those ears and make from them a chin. Amazing how a face is with no chin. Now we know.

Why did they use this picture? He looks scary.

The features are generous, but not generously made. As though at the last minute the forehead took all.

Such a face reminds me of a soft-boiled egg: eyes and nose and mouth all a bit runny, smearing one into the other. Needs more time in the heat.

These eyes were so blue, but very flat. They were looking but not seeing. I took her and sang to her and she saw me.

The legs are thick and go straight down, no change at the ankle. They do what they want. He tries to go this way, but the legs don’t obey, so he feels how the mind and body are divided. Then he has no choice but to follow the body, and be happy with what’s over here-in this case, the cup-instead of what’s over there. But he isn’t happy. He doesn’t want the cup. Why should he?

What is the hair doing? The front is going to church and the back is going gambling.

Don’t be nervous. She might be very pretty. The nose still might change.

Kristen Iskandrian's work has appeared in Gulf Coast, Denver Quarterly, Mississippi Review, Fifty-Two Stories, and many other places. She has a PhD in English from University of Georgia. She contributes to http://htmlgiant.com, blogs at http://kristeniskandrian.blogspot.com, and tweets at http://twitter.com/#%21/KristenIsk.