An unreliable love story

How you went skiing at midnight, out across the river,
your breath gulping at the shallow, sharp air of the full wolf moon.

And how I heard the ice breaking the next day,
out on the Chenango by our little apartment with all the windows.

The water booming and roaring, wrenching trees, trash, the entire side of a house,
flooding our dreams with a howling urgency.

Ice-to-water-to sea.

And how you held me tight and wouldn’t cry when they airlifted
our newborn son to the Mass General Intensive Care Unit.

Our love bound up that night in a tangle of tubes and monitors,
a six pound body so intimately engaged in grasping its own measure of life.

And there was nothing left in that room but a snapshot of a naked baby,
my tears tracing rivers down your shirt front.

Water-to-cloth-to-flesh.

And how your skis shushed a path across the ice-bound night,
laying a double track between each rasping breath.

And how I rocked and rocked and rocked when we finally brought our baby home,
an angry line of red-black stitches plotting course across his moon-soft belly.

 

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