March 05, 2017

Fiery one

the beginnings of a belly, at 18 weeks

They're about the size of an avocado by now, and avocados are all I want to eat this week. They have eyelashes and fingernails, and a soft coat of hair covering their skin. They practice holding the umbilical cord, they yawn and hiccup. Sometimes I can feel them moving around inside, always slightly to the right, and if I press my hand down, something pushes back. One day I will see them on a black and white screen turning and dancing and making faces. One day I will hear the sound of their voice and know it like it's always been there.

At night in the dark my lover reaches for me and I can hear his smile through the covers – you're always warm now, he says. I used to be a moon girl, cold fingers and cold toes, and now I'm on fire. His fingers trace the lower part of my belly, where the baby lies and the heat seems to agregate like the tip of a volcano.

My child came in secret, and quietly set my life ablaze. One day I closed my eyes and knew I wasn't alone anymore, knew that he or she was there. When he wants to walk, we walk ; if he needs to rest, we rest. I sleep when he tells me to. I don't mind – I recognize his voice for what it is – guiding, but not commanding. Someone that a whole room would unconsciously fall silent to listen to. He knows what we both need. I don't argue.

In the dreamtime he's always there, no matter what my dreams are about – sitting in a corner on a moss-covered rock, or tugging at my sleeve and pointing at things. He looks so strange, and so known – his skin is glowing pale, like moonlight, and his little hands often hold a polished pebble or a few twigs. He has one eye green like mine, and one steel blue like his father – bright yellow specks in both. His hair is at once all the colours of a glowing amber, shifting from gold to red to jayblack, and dressed on his head, moving like algae in the waves. Sometimes he waves his hand at me and from his fingertips I think I see sparks shooting out, like he is made out of pure fire. It makes so much sense to me. The first time I saw my love, he was dancing engulfed in flames, and the flames wouldn't hurt him.

I lie down, fingers drawing circles on my belly, and after a few kicks you settle.
We're going to remember this, fiery one. We're going to remember these days, for the loud rain and the soft light. We're going to remember having no plan, wondering each day, holding all the money we have in one palm and laughing it away. My fingers trace the space between my ribs and my hip bone. Next to me my love sleeps, a frowny face under his golden hair. My other hand finds him and smooth out the frown. I will keep both your fires fed, I say. I will be your river, and carry you with me, everywhere.

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