Like a seed of knowledge something had settled inside her and was growing. She felt it at night as she slept, swimming down deep inside her, restless and oceanic. When the moon tore at her with the tidal forces it howled. Even asleep she spread her hands over it protectively. “Baby, baby,” she crooned, “baby, baby.”

The green spot appeared on her belly first, the size of a quarter, green as verdigris. She scrubbed herself with soaps and powders but there it was.

“What is it?” she asked her doctor.

“It’s too soon to tell. We’ll run some blood tests, check your thyroid… we’re not sure. Try these antibiotics.”

The green spread across her body, down her thighs and over her breasts. She wore high collars, long pants, gloves. Her test results came back, nothing, nothing. The antibiotics did nothing.

She went green to the ends of her fingernails and delicately through her hair. She stayed inside and shut the blinds in shame and passed out. She would have died but her mother came over and dragged her onto the lawn into the sunlight.

She sobbed. “I’m a freak, Mom!”

“Shh,” soothed her mother. “Baby, baby.”