Sister Letter: When I was 10.

Baby bounce belly blanket

slap palms, down, giggle, uproariously.

Tiny shoulder jump, fall, securely.

My palms,

they envelope you.

My fingers,

they catch you.

In the nook of my elbows, love, you rest.

All giggles, and coos

and gurgles.

Your neck, so tiny, I cradle.

You are safe, my love, secure.

From a battle of our mother’s making,

I protect you.

Your head, the same size

as my shoulder, it rests upon,

drifting between sleep and hunger as I boil a bottle, of

our mother’s milk.

On my back I lay as on my chest,

I cradle you,

all belly laughter and murmurs.

Full of mothers milk you fall, asleep,

your pointer finger and thumb grasping

my collar bone.

As your heart beat slips into rhythm with mine,

I imagine my chest could open up and take you in,

keep you safe,

to guard against all of the hours I cannot be with you,

against my choice one way or the other.

My love,

your heart beats

a strong rhythmic war song

tapping against my ribcage

reassuring me of importance, of miracles,

of queens in vitro, warriors of love in progress,

full.

As our mother lies

on the floor

under pillows and blankets,

heavy as abandonment.

My love, I hold you.

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