There are many kinds of time. The clock time spent at desks in offices, hours counted out by the interminable sweep of slender hands across a pale, circular face. There is the type of time I feel in my body, those cycles of wakefulness and sleep, the sisyphean monotony of hungering, thirsting, shitting. There is women’s time. Years counted in the tide of blood that rises between my legs, an irrefutable reminder of what isn’t.
When I turned thirty-five in 2021, I froze my eggs. They wait for me in an Italian lab like a cold assurance of a life to come—a child, financial security, a permanent home, a partner to share my days and nights. For now, though, my womb is an empty universe, spread out like a celestial dome in ultrasound images silky with lines of information that echo the same resounding absence.
I suspend the passage of time, freeze it in the medium of photography. Twelve images that shift progressively like the changing faces of a chaste moon. Still, details escape. The camera seeks stability, but my hand shakes, Artemesia moves, my face turns. The photographs clutch at the traces of what is beyond capture or conservation.