I stand beneath the doorframe,
this functional arch that serves as a threshold
separating me from the infinite space
in which you kneel,
hands splayed on the wooden floor,
womb heavy and distended.
The space engulfing you
is an in-between space
that belongs to the dying
and to the child that slips from you,
umbilical cord for an instant
the blue of cornflowers
or of the sky drowning in the sea
off Malta or Cephalonia.*
And I think of all the things
that go unsaid, cannot be said
yet fill the spaces we leave open,
the pauses we wrap ourselves in
as we sip burning coffee
from white Styrofoam cups
and distribute Timbits
among four pairs of tiny hands.
These pauses which,
like the child bursting from you,
emerge from some in-between space,
its silence filled with things
that come before language
before the sounds
we push past throats and lips.
Before words like ‘sister’,
* She's been to Greece since the last version, can you tell?