Joy Christine Mlozanowski
Joy Christine Mlozanowski is a writer and visual artist who enjoys exploring the intersection of text, art, nature, and the human body. She is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and an M.S. in English. Joy also maintains a private practice as a meditation teacher and certified hypnotherapist with a focus on transpersonal awareness and expressive arts. Her writing and artwork have appeared in a variety of publications, and she currently serves as assistant editor at Pith Journal. She makes her home in New England.
In her diary, Mae questions God as she and her husband confront the news of an abnormal pregnancy and agonize over the decisions they face. Needing time away to think, she visits her childhood home and reconnects with Will, a deaf friend who taught her to sign when they were young. After her visit, Mae and Will continue an intimate written exchange in which she confides her despair, while Will shares his own struggle to honor the wishes of his dying father, and reconcile his mother’s reluctance to let go. Mae and Will’s story is one of love, understanding and hope, and promises to deeply touch anyone who has faced these difficult and heartbreaking choices.
March 30, Wednesday
I don’t even know if you’re a girl or boy,
growing inside me—
worry about other parts of you,
still unseen, that might not be whole.
I’d tell you a story, if I could—
how when I was six years old
I stood at the edge of the river,
knee-deep, holding my net.
Fish darted, circled, catching light—
water rippled. In one scoop,
I caught a quick of silver.
On the riverbank, I untangled
my small, glistening catch, tried
to hold that silver in my hands—
felt it slip, watched it fall
between dry stones. I knew
it wished only to swim again,
breathe. Afraid, I reached down—
beyond wanting to run home,
beyond my knotted heart,
beyond death. I threw my net away.
You are my shiny fish now,
circling beneath this surface—
rippling water. If I could
hold you, I would ask
who you are, what you want.
I’d find the water, let you go—
let you swim home.
April 5, Tuesday
I can’t sleep.
I leave Thomas to fight alone in his dreams.
My hands work in the computer’s glow,
filling search boxes—
typing and retyping the words Dr. Reed gave us.
Amanous: having no hands.
Apodal: having no feet.
But my search only conjures what I’ve already seen.
It doesn’t show me a reason for what’s missing.
It doesn’t tell me what else might be wrong.
I stumble through sites honoring children
with false limbs, missing organs—
blind, deaf, paralyzed.
Loved, they are all survivors.
A moth spins around my lamplight—
flits like the ghost moth Will once jarred for me
when we were twelve.
The night he promised we’d stay friends, no matter what.
I sketched its wings before letting it go.
Maybe I’ve forgotten how to sing,
but I can still draw the illusion of night flying.
And maybe you, Absent God,
can give me a sign you’re listening.