for the record, I am a porcupine

for the record, I am a porcupine

This first year, I don't know if I've got it in me to pretend that May 5th wasn’t the most catastrophic day of our lives. I want to wake up to a kick in the head from my three-year-old as per usual and tap my barometer and make the calls to say “Why don’t you just come over for some tea and something sweet and I might even have some little candles in the junk drawer and we’ll see…”

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double vision

double vision

Split neatly down the centre, I am cast out of both camps. One baby died, one baby lived. Furiously bitter among the usual folk, sheepish and humbled among the medusas. He is my blessing baby and my shadow baby. He saved my life by filling my arms, calling for me in the no-man’s-land between midnight and dawn for contraband giggles, drinking my milk like a dog with a bone as I sobbed.

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full blankness

full blankness

Ben projectile-barfs peas and hummus and I don’t get there in time with the bowl and the moment the digestive hose is emptied he cracks himself up, spitty pea-goop dripping off his chin. Liam waits for me patiently, as he always has, and I run the dripping cloth back and forth across the white plastic with tears in my eyes, wishing I had twice the highchairs, twice the barf.

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there's no chain on my feet but I am not free

there's no chain on my feet but I am not free

I fell apart a few weeks before their birthday. Then that day came and went and in the past six weeks I’ve lamented everything except Liam. What to do with this life. What to do with an unwanted minivan. How to ease off on paying work in the interest of possibly dream-fulfilling work. How to ease off on paying work after losing ten thousand dollars on a minivan that is apparently unwanted by everyone else, too. How to shake this angry pallor.

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the jerk, the breeze, and the cherub

the jerk, the breeze, and the cherub

Souls travel in packs, I like to think. They drift in and out of lives, drawn magnetically to one another across dimensions and by what we think of as turns of fate. By that reckoning, my son knew I was there and loving him, and was not afraid even though his physical body was so desperately compromised. By that reckoning, he was all that he was supposed to be.

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(not a sad dream)

(not a sad dream)

I was a long-ago nurse in a hospital of the same vintage, dark wooden floors scrubbed to shine, massive windowpanes that opened up and out by pulley. I passed through a closed door and into a ward full of babies and to the first crib in a long row. I knew him as Liam, knew him as mine. He was plump and sleeping. I gathered him in my arms and nodded to the other people there, and they nodded back.

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what was planted to heal the world

what was planted to heal the world

In the muscle memory of our souls we've all been marginalized. Each and every one of us has had miserably timed turns at being poor, or protestant, or mentally ill, or black, or differently abled, or female, or jewish, or iroquois, or gay. In all those states we were born as a living, breathing expression of hope and renewal and love just as we were. In all those states we have been denied by each other. Too many of us forget to remember.

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my sorrow was my sunshine

my sorrow was my sunshine

Up until 2 AM as usual, but without the 7 AM wakeup of little bodies tussling in my face. I wait inside this house surrounded by the echo of autonomy that comes not from the presence of self, but the absence of them, and despite the bliss, my stomach turns with wanting. In the meantime I drink wine and eat homemade carrot-brie perogies, and stomp indiscreetly and listen too loud, marinating up to my neck in what once was, and what might still be.

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