– With lines from Elizabeth Smart
Anonymous. A lima bean, they say.
No eyes or brain beneath
the flesh and blood and membrane
of my wife. But O my burning baby
anchors love within me. One day
you’ll wonder if any of this matters,
if you and it share a common bond,
if Love’s a word we pin to things
thin-skinned enough to pierce.
I sit in bed beside you both—
you and the idea of what you’ll be—
and listen as your mother breathes
for three. If we lose you what of you
will linger? If you last how will this
breathing, burning love divide,
sustain, and multiply? When I speak of it,
many years from now, to whom will
I be speaking? My dear, my darling,
do you hear me where you sleep?
First published in The New Quarterly #136.