The doctors say you’re coming in a week. Dad set up the nursery exactly two weeks before your due-date because he decided it was about time. He did it all. Mom only chose the pale green curtains to hang in your window. The curtains aren’t permanent, but Dad’s yellow painted walls are. He doesn’t mind the simmering coals lining the grass-pavement boarder. He’s happy enough, I believe.
The swing set is outside of your window. If I let my eyes relax until the sting of dryness sets in, I can see you swinging. Flying. You’re only a wisp, though, like a cloud. Gray like the smoke that seems to be rising from the ground. The pavement seems to be creeping closer and closer to our house leaving the grass singed.
I can see Mom’s knuckles turn red as she grips the arms of her chair, a practice contraction. Are you ready Baby?
I can’t sleep. Mom and Dad were fighting again. The first words they’ve spoken all day. Nothing about us, though. It was just another argument. They bottle up their words, and at one point they have to explode. I watch the ash from their fight delicately fall like the autumn leaves.
I close my eyes in attempt to force my body asleep, but the night sky is too bright outside of my window, the moon wide and ripping. On nights like these I like to imagine that the sky is a blanket, the stars are its stitches, and the moon is a tear. A perfect circular tear. When I could fly, I would bring a needle to the moon to stitch the blanket of night back together again. But the higher I flew, the heavier the needle got dragging me back down to the ground.
Maybe we can carry the needle together, Baby. Stitch the perfect circular tear.
I still wasn’t asleep at 12:48, so I decided I might as well stay up to see one o’clock come around. I like the world best at one o’clock in the morning. You can’t get hurt at one o’clock in the morning because everyone else is sleeping. It’s only you. The smoke melds with the night sky, and you can feel it tugging the tips of your ears begging you to fly away. Someday, we will.
I hear Mom and Dad’s breaths going up and down like always through the paper-thin walls. Except tonight there’s a third breath that’s in sync with mine. It’s you, Baby. I know it’s you.
The smoke is tugging harder now, biting at the tips of my ears. You must be ready.