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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.

Image by photographer Jennifer Fauset


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