Friday, December 11, 2015

Baby Blood

On our blue floral bedding, which I have mended (scarred) with weaves of white threading, she lays, flailing her pudgy pale limbs, cooing and kicking at the vine tails dangling above her head. Raised scratches cut across her squishy cheeks like red yarn, greased. I retrieve the little nail clippers and sit at her feet. Holding her left hand, I clip the pinky's nail, then that of the ring finger, middle, and pointer. Then I turn over the thumb, make it flat, and align the two silver teeth. Maybe I'm moving too quickly, I can't say really, but the tool bites the tip of her tiny thumb. She stiffens into stillness. Full of anguish and mistrust, she lets loose a beastly bellow from deep below ---a moan so big and bad that her sob goes momentarily silent before the shock shakes wails from her wet wide mouth. Eventually, like a wave receding, she inhales. I pick her up, dizzy in my fright, and look at the dimpled hand. A small drop of blood rises from the round wound. I put the thumb into my mouth and suck, I don't know why ---some instinct that makes me forget the bathroom sink---and I keep it there between my lips, standing between the bed and closet, swaying, waiting for the fit to settle like a fog of flour above the mixing bowl.

And I'm left to wonder: how does a mother survive and not drop and die after her baby's soul abandons body to fly with the black birds of the sky?

My baby barely bled and I nearly fainted.