The World Held at Bay

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He lays his head
on my chest
to sleep
with his ear to my heart
as if my pulse
were a secret, wordless lullaby
that he remembers
from before birth

maybe when he’s asleep
in my arms,
he thinks he is still in the womb
tucked safely where my love
takes a fluid form
that surrounds him,
where nothing can hurt him
and nothing impure
can touch him

my living blood is his warmth
and its repeated thunders
are his sanctuary,
a private cipher that means
“I am here, I am here”
the one message
that gives him comfort,
the nucleus of his peace,
o my little one for whom
everything is so simple

I am held
by the rhythm of his breathing
and someday, I will find the time
to do all the things I should be doing
but for another hour,
my heartbeat is the background music
of the dreams he could be dreaming
his calm is my calm
and everything.
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byJenniferFauset
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Image by photographer Jennifer Fauset

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