January 3

Newborn

You shine, little one
As my oil-slick hands
Trace your flailing limbs,
Sweet smelling and silken soft
Giving way to bird thin ribs
Beneath your brand new skin

Your fingers grasp mine
Small and barely there
But possessing a violent strength
For life — yours
depends on this precious link
Between your skin and mine

Over your toes my fingers glide
My smile belies the terror
Of this new separateness
Your eyes search mine and in yours I find
The fear and hope and wonder
That lay in the newly formed space
Between you and me

The link between us
Once seamless and blooded
Now bound and withering
In it’s place this shared gaze
And slip of skin on skin
In each other we breathe
Your heart on mine
And at last sweet sleep

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