I love my son most when we are alone and we are quiet. I hold him–a heft and thickness to his limbs now that surprises me though I’ve watched him grow, inspected him even, twelve years–to my chest until the ache of loving him burns in my center like I’ve downed a tequila shot and eaten the whole lime both. I want to fold him into my belly, return him to his point of origin. I could be his chrysalis. I could rebirth him and give him a chance. I could rebirth him and give myself another chance. It’s not romantic, but this kind of motherhood rarely is. It’s pulsing blood in my jaw and nerves shaved by a razor’s edge. It’s still shit and drool and too-sharp nails and sometimes bites and lots of shame, and twelve years of tiredness that makes my bones ache like death has passed over our house but made sure to leave its own mark above the door.