Fiction Feature – Poetry by…

how you began:

you are swallowed back into my womb
as the pain of childbirth is swallowed back
into the innocent anxiety that exists
before experience

you are reduced to a tiny seahorse
but you could be the beginning of any creature:
a bird a fish a salamander

you are a metaphor for your own unconscious evolution

even further back you are one cell
created from the melting together of two gametes
but we as your parents did not invent your existence

you were before this two separate beings

you were the passion of our sex
you were the fine filament that drew us together as strangers
you were there through the history of our lives


and waiting still are your children
or maybe one child
or maybe none

maybe you will coast through the vastness of the sky on taut wings
maybe you will swim through the endlessness of the ocean
with silvery scales like seashells
maybe you will emerge from a childhood underwater smooth-skinned
to live in the dampness of the earth

i want you to never be many things that i am

but you have been given both choice and fate
whatever you become is what you are
and perfect

tiny bones

curled against me like still in the womb
your small bones fine cap of fuzzy hair
quick unsteady breathing
like tiny animals

like the new creature we brought home from a farmhouse
the owners too cheap to spay their dogs
dad number two says

the surprise at finding it so untamed
yelping all night peeing on floors and furniture
nipping at fingers slobbering on faces and clothes

no control
the helplessness so demanding
but pure
true need

no capacity for selfishness