chapter eleven

the moon's orb steadily rises, and from this spot beneath the warmth of you, I let tears silently fall. it's the sort of crying which resonates in my bones, called forth from some ancestral place - it's the crying women do in the dark, and have done in ditches, and pits, and mud holes, and caves. the still, unmoving weeping which we inherit at birth from a thousand generations of women who relinquish themselves to the day and to souls which beg for their attention. and so now, in the night, in this room, beneath the actual weight of my life, I lie and let the pillow beneath me swim in the steady drop of my impenetrable confusion.

this bed is a loaded land, a ticking clock of waiting, and a desperate calling for more. how one inanimate place can become a fully realized existence, I don't know, but here I lie, entirely and heart-breakingly, soul-wreckingly aware of the longing which lives just right here. 

night breaks upon my back, and I toss between worlds, buried and shaking and unnoticed, choking back and coughing up the sour burn of anticipation. and so the orb arcs across the sky, dipping beneath trees, folding into the horizon, and burrowing itself along with its burdens, and I am left with the quickening brightness of dawn. I have denied its return, but faced with day, I welcome the excuse to pad into the kitchen and begin the routines morning. coffee brewing, staring through glass at the weeds which are creeping into the flowerbed, and the stirring of a girl. oh, I have dreamt of your bigness and the burgeoning near-womanhood, but there is remarkably sweet and painfully necessary comfort in the certainty that your smallness remains for at least a while, as if the breath of time keeps pace despite my rushing heart or paralyzed mind, finding a balance I might never create independently. and so my guys shift with the turning of your breath, and I feel your return to this realm in the pits of me, and I lose sight of the weeds as I return to the present moment.

creeping closer, you grab at the folds of my skirt - this tattered thing I've owned since a girlhood not long ago, but distant in familiarity and so long forgotten. you do not say words, but inch fingers closer to my hips until your arms are finally raised, and I know my duty. I lift you toward me, resting your weight upon my hip, and I nuzzle your nose against mine. these are the hours of limited words, and so I point to the flowers which brush against the window, and reach for a mug. 

I can spin a tale, but I cannot shake the constancy of wishing, which claws at my throat and stings my eyes. I simply cannot will our next chapter to begin, and yet today chugs ever forward, despite my resistance.

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a bath. I draw a bath, warm and cloudy. dropping clothing quietly, I heave my sadness across the tub's lip, lifting you along and resting you against the rolls of my belly. and it just falls: the crest of my chest, and the sturdy straightness of my shoulders, and the hurt of waiting for love, and the bubbles, and the hopefulness in your eyes as you cup my face so sweetly, and say not a word as I squeeze out the last drops. for today. 

and then I find your eyes. I lock into our breath, a rhythm we find and recreate and have held since your birth, and I catch your gaze and tell you of the whole truth:

child, I say. your heart is my heart, and when your blood pumps, keeping you upright and alert, know that it rebuilds my very soul. and please know that my sadness is the stuff of womanhood, built and pent up, and pouring from me some mornings, but never yours to own. you have saved my soul, and I am eternally grateful, though I may remain forever longing. girl, I whisper. all I am is yours from the very pit of my hopeful soul to the floating wishes which escape my mind. 

I watch as you pile bubbles across my fallen chest and pull me in for a kiss, and I let all the ever-remaining aching weight of this life find space on the passing breaths we share. and I whisper one last truth.

daughter, I say with confidence, I love you. you have made this world a beautiful dream worth living. I am sad, and I have wants, and it is hard to be me, but you are everything. I love your nose. and I love your heart. and this morning is so much more than I feel I can manage, but this life is so much more than I deserve. thank you.

and you splash big, and the day goes on, because that is the way of things.


diffusing cedarwood + bergamot for clarity and grace. listening to Édith Piaf for strength and courage.