Tuesday, May 24, 2011

inside out

KK and her mama
It’s raw. All of me. My innards are exposed, layers of skin and fat and bone have folded inside out and there on the surface rests all of my organs.

Maybe she cut me open with her arrival? Maybe her brightness—the shiny remnant of stardust lingering on her soft humanness—is razor sharp?

All I do know, is that for the last many months I have been experiencing a kind of vulnerability that I have never known. I feel exposed; I feel heavy; I feel love like I never have before, but it is a thicker love. It is both burdensome and rich.

It weighs on me—literally, my whole body feels heavier. My head might as well be a cannon ball; my chest a freighter; my feet rocks from Lake Superior.

And then those pesky dead ones, they are hovering. Their presences are hanging over us like the thick fog on a cool spring morning that desires to be hot. All of them, our grandmothers, k’s mother, our grandfathers, our uncles. All of them. They are so close.

The bridal’s veil is in full bloom. The lilacs are erupting in sickly sweet aroma and my grandmother’s hands write languid visions of her skin on my eyelids.

KK’s mama is sending messages from the netherworld. Her beautiful smile cascades teeth and gums over our bed in the morning when the three of us wake from deep sleep held together by the certainty of one another’s bodies.

This vulnerability, this exposure, this hovering of the dead. It is all okay. It’s different and hard and beautiful. I think it is some new kind of falling in love with the living we are doing day in and out; the weaving together of our lives in tight strands of illuminated rope. Indeed, I loved my daughter from the moment I knew she was alive inside of k. But, always reservedly—just in case she splashed out of her mother’s womb before term without life, just in case the blood that trickled between k’s legs for the whole first trimester ended up being the beginning of the end.

Since Willa met us on this side of living, away from the dark and marvelous world of k’s womb, I have been falling in love with her day in and day out. And it is this loving of Willa that makes me more susceptible to the dead ones who are pestering me with memories (my lived ones and the ones I have been told) and pounding even louder on the rickety cage of ribs that is stacked in a dull pink white glow below my chin and neck.

In the shower in the morning my tears run with the hot water as I think of k’s mama and how she will never know Willa or see k as a mother. Her life was too short and my heart aches for kk. I think of my gram and I feel her soft, wrinkled hands on my face, my shoulder—I miss her, really miss her.

This loving is powerful stuff. It is sharp. Everyday my heart sinks a little deeper into the air outside my chest; my bones clatter in a kind of agony at the turned-inside-out-cold on nighttime and morning, my insides tremble in their new home, unprotected by epidermis, muscle, and fat. Exposed, opened, unfolded—more alive than I have ever been in this new and persistent loving.


The Next Beyond said...

Nomnomnnom. (That's me eating this post.)

westwood said...


tiff said...

Wow....KK looks so much like her mama.
And Willow looks so much like KK!! Holy moly.

So glad to hear you won't stop writing.