to the mama without the baby

You are both a victim and a masochist. You imagine a pulse like in apocalyptic movies that sweeps over populations of picturebook mommies and daddies, rendering them limp like rag dolls, not hurt but hit by an explosive wave of acknowledgement that forces them despite their whole, healthy children to pause for a moment, to be touched by this blackness.

It'll feel that way for a while.

Then one day the hole will have a layer of cheesecloth stretched over it, diffusing the howling wind. Then two layers, then three. Holes will be ripped through it when you least expect. Other days you'll not even feel a draft, like it’s been blocked up for good with mortar and brick, and you’ll resent that protection for how it buffers you from the rawness, from all you know of your son or daughter.

Your heart will figure out how to hold on and let go at the same time. Write if you can, or make art, or be alone, whatever you need. Don’t apologize for a single thing. And feel us out here, sisters standing beside you.