Is it wrong to wish you dead, when you are barely here? Your Cheerio mouth bleats silent screams, and my breasts ache in a discordant rhythm. I peer through your jelly-palms and trace your paper skull. I flatten my hand against the plastic and you are eclipsed, yet I am surrounded by wriggling commas; steroids like semi-colons dragging out their sentence.
Barely here, yet you weigh me down.
‘Can they feel pain,’ I ask the midwife as she squeezes blood from your foot, small as the ballet shoe on my charm bracelet (a gift from your dad, before he realised I was not enough and you were too much). She holds your putty leg between her thumb and first finger and shakes her head, but I see you twist and writhe, with your blind bug eyes, so I know she lies.
The double doors fly open. Another ghost arrives, along with a sharp draft of yesterday. I breathe it in, intoxicated, whilst the doctors and nurses play god (because God is dead). Your alarm sounds, but they are too busy.
I silence it.
Your arms sway like sea fronds.
I push my huge hands into your artificial sky. The tubes recoil from you, hissing and spitting.
Lifting you into my palm, your eyes flicker and I catch a glimpse of foetal blue. I draw you to my breast, but my nipple is too big and you are too small. I tuck you inside my cardigan and feel your bird bones quiver against my heart. Your silent screams subside. Drawing up my knees I create a cocoon, almost believing you are back inside.
What now, alien baby?
I hold my breath with yours and my head goes light.