Newborn Fragments

Jeremiah’s first day at the beach

 

 

 

I want neither the sweetness of honey, nor the sting of bees

—Sappho

 

1

will not sleep through the night,

not even close

—exhausted.

never sleep again.
i am almost afraid
(sleep)
dozing off            and
i wake.

–sick stomach, i am
(ripped)
out of my dreams.

crying help. can’t speak
help—

sleep! sleep! where are you?
lost!

oh, i’m holding
you

2

Sleep a little longer love, and let my thoughts scurry
in and out of existence—I would fly with imagination

If only you would cease your crying for seconds,
moments at a time, I might reach the skyfall.

And yet, as you dream, your briefest smile—
appears, then disappears, as if it never occurred—

My mind matters less, love, less than my heart,
smiling with you, love.

3

I did not expect you to be so squirmy—
a jellyfish,

swish, swish

4

volatile, you expand and cram the room
with your unannounced trumpet blasts—
piercing the ceiling with spontaneous
syllabics that drown into bumbling vowels—
without warning, you erupt and
start the dogs howling at your distress.

We cannot move quickly enough to appease you—
we stumble into armchairs and corners
of tables, bruising our elbows, our thighs

5

Three in the morning
milky sedation
We hold you between us, drifting in and out of sleep

Every piece of love I hold,
here, in this bed, right now.

6

How I’ve learned to crave the smell of faintly
soured milk

—sweetly pungent in the folds of your neck.

7

I will never tire
of singing softly in your ear—

Will you never grow weary
of listening?

8

Guilt rattles my belly
like the bells on your cradle
ringing, ringing as I rock you—

I am clutched by fear,

nagging,
haggling,
mining me deep—

Am I doing this all wrong?

9

Sometimes
when you are sound asleep,
I put my face close to your chest
and listen for the steady rise and fall.

Sometimes, I tap your tiny toes
—just to make sure you will wiggle them.

10

I love the way we communicate—

in gazes and giggles

11
upon your first encounter with the ocean, you slept soundly in my arms.
the wind strung us tightly together.
when I first heard your triumphant cry, exhausted from your long journey
into light,

the space between us evaporated into sound—

mine, mine
you are mine—

and we rushed toward the open shore,
gathering hope
like water in buckets.

Published in Mom Writer’s Literary Magazine

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