I loved him already. Sitting in front of my grandmother’s old house, a new family in the window. I steal a rose from their front porch. They were hers—the roses. They could live there for a hundred years and still the roses would be hers. And mine. And his.
I press the rose up to my growing womb. I wonder if he feels the energy of all the love inside the universe wrapped up in a velvet petal.
I loved him already. When they pulled him from my body, the knotted cord an unpulsing chain inside this broken world. We were just in time.
You can keep the blood—for thousands of dollars you can collect it and save it in a large refrigeration unit somewhere downtown along a busy street. Instead I watch them mop the blood from all over the floor and weigh it in a metal dish. Instead I keep the rose.
The doctor with the red hair like the red rose like the red blood listens to me sing a lullaby. I love him already, I say. Of course, she says.
He emerges with his life stuck halfway in and halfway out. His skin purple like a ripe plum his skin purple like an eggplant. Everything that can and will go wrong but somehow he goes right. Little miracles take flight but they don’t always leave the ground but this one does and it’s because of a red rose pressed up against a growing womb.
I sing him a lullaby and with every note they sew a little stitch that puts me back together. How long? I ask. A while, she says.
I am warm and fuzzy like a peach in my exhaustion. All that blood they weigh inside a metal dish and somehow he is here and pink and sleeping in my arms. Someone holds him while I close my eyes. In a room with the halogen sunshine where the mother stops and where the world begins.