Follistim Pen

Toby Goostree

I unscrew the cartridge holder
from the body of the pen
in order to load it.

I set the body aside;
—detached, it looks like
a mascara wand.  You

-Tube cleans the rubber stopper
on the Follistim cartridge
with an alcohol swab

and then inserts it,
getting ahead with every step,
a fast walker, my mind buffering

always.  More steps,
until the pen is loaded.

—I tap the cartridge and a tear swells
at the tip of the needle, ready to burst.

This releases air, ensuring
the right amount of dosage,

though there’s so much DIY in IVF
that we can’t be sure.

Beside herself, Amy watches.

Toby Goostree’s work has appeared in The Cincinnati ReviewChristianity and LiteratureHarbor Review and others. His first book, But There’s So Much DIY in IVF That We Can’t Be Sure, is forthcoming from Fernwood Press in 2023.