Swaddled among the wrinkled cardboard boxes filled with forsaken holiday decorations, and the white plastic garbage bags replete with tired clothes that we can never seem to relent, she waits
(at the edge of our perception) for the diuretic to send her, once again, to the toilet.
Weathered photographs, dried petals curling upon their sunburnt edges as if clutching at the memories–sailing off Catawba Island, Sundays at Memorial Pool, baptisms and baseball games–all cascade from her lap. She plucks an aged ultrasound photo to hold it closer to her overcast eyes, searching for the light.
Outside, beads of rain pelt the antiquated, single-pane window and flow a crooked river down the glass like the ichor seeping from her swollen legs. The water flows into the garden below where she has devoutly knelt beneath the Copernican Sun watering a small patch of golden Chamomile flowers and praying before a statue of Our Lady who sheds a perpetual plaster tear painted Marian blue.
The sweat of her labor as she rises to make water, once again, anoints her diaphanous skin. She smiles down upon her baby boy–ready now to hold him for the first time.
Cover image by Seth Doyle