The first thing that I wanted to write about after my baby was born was, predictably, the birth. I never imagined that I would write, on thanksgiving of all days, from a seaside island apartment in Georgia, nearly five months after the event– the cleaving, the bloodied imparting, the tearing asunder and breath shocked abruption of beings– about grief.
Perhaps it is less about grief and more about murder. Immolation. The worlds I lost, the selves I killed. Assumptions violently shed. On bad days still I see my body bathed in blood. Only the name I gave myself and the burden of accumulated losses cloaking what is– must be– the illusion of self. Kill it. And again. And again. Irrevocable losses- strip them of meaning, if not potency. Crush. Mine. Remake. Destroy.
The ocean is a mirror for the vast tumult of loss inside my own wrecked heart. Despair sweeps, changes diapers, microwaves tv dinners, feeds itself. I am neatly kept, I keep neatly. I have lost all my sharp edges, collapsed into wobbly flesh and bruised shadow. Suddenly I am old, wearing every pinch and frown. I look to the sea. Seemingly it holds everything. I will too, I resolve.
Skinned thinner than tendon, tighter than my breath. Time framed in contractions, slicing spasms of pain. I pick up my feet. Slip deep into mindless movement. Watch a strip of light curve slowly across the wall. I will too. Stretch. Breathe. Arc. Die.
I focus on the curve of each line, the arc and bleed of ink. Over and over, the same word. Prayer comes to me uninvited- hallowed be thy name. On earth as it is in heaven. With both hands I lifted him from the water black with shit and blood. I cracked open with the miracle of him. I whispered his name over and over in the dark. Incantation. Invocation. This one lived. His heart beats. Mine, still, too.