The light in our room is dim, an undersea soft saturation so you might soon please sleep. This is our new house, a place for new beginnings, to shed sadness like snake's skin, like snow melt. This is not the house you came home to, round-eyed, reddened baby. This is not the room of your first seizure, your first birthday when the weight of your compromised life lay heavy on my heart, heavy on our hope. You are not the child I imagined, not the child I wanted, and sometimes not the child I want. This new room is ours, broad expanse of windows, morning light, we two love long, lazy days lounging on our shared bed. It is our safe place. "Olly, olly oxen free!" This marriage bed is now a place to parent in my own soft way.
(You may disapprove. You will disapprove.) But
I am tired. Ten years and I imagine sleeping and seizing descend similarly, stifling, static. You grab my hand now, pull it toward your chest, as you cross the threshold, unwilling I am your link to the awake world. I watch you transform, again a baby--pink lips and starfish hands curl, flex. I lay beside you, holding my breath, and watch you traverse the nocturnal waves that carry you from awake-- "up, up" you say "no tired" you learn to say to sleep, the snags and snaps that trip your tricky brain. But tonight you slide smoothly into somnolent dreamscapes. Your long legs bisect the bed, a little boy's legs now, thick at the thigh, no baby. But then you draw those legs in, a turtle hatchling, furled, you make room again for me. That years' long fear manifests again, fear like a fizz in my stomach, you might never wake and I will be left in the shallows, no air no air your dolphin laugh echoing like a lost recording, just so much oceanic static no proof I once heard what I heard and saw what I saw. ("You wouldn't believe!") I once loved a love both rare and roaring.