He’s been gone from his body
For forty weeks and four days.
For forty weeks and four days,
He grew inside my body.
As he grew inside my body,
From a love to a sprout,
From a grape to an ultrasound,
My God, I was huge,
From a phone call to a groaning cake,
From a moonlit walk to a kiddie pool,
From an explosion–
I knew you before you were born-–
To a strong, determined, wet, fuzzy, baby boy,
As if he’d always been here,
My perfect son,
To whom I whispered, as he pinked:
“You’re not going anywhere.
This is your home.”
And he didn’t. Go anywhere. Not then. Not yet.
He stayed, right here with us, for
Nine years and fifty one days.
We had time.
And now, we don’t.
We have no more time. There is no more time.
Just as the ripening was painstakingly slow,
So has this distancing been relentlessly fast.
His body is not growing now;
It moves in the opposite direction,
Nourishing the rest of us, entwined by root and lichen.
He feels so far away,
Regardless of the blessed loop of my feeble memory,
Regardless of the divine comfort of dreams and owls,
Regardless that I can still feel his fingers interlaced in mine.
I long for the sterile smell of the hospital.
I long for the beeps and the tubes and the late nights in the bathroom.
Because he was here.
The guilt is excruciating: he was hurting then, I know. He isn’t hurting now. I know.
But he was here.
The loquats were ripe when he died.
Their flowers are blossoming again.
I am powerless to stop them,
So I marvel at the translucence of their petals.