This is my wife and she is pregnant with our dead child.

The stories must wait; the stories have all been told.
The storyteller is empty now; there are no gifts
of first lines. God is a mask again.
Oh faceless one who giveth and taketh away,
your gaze so impenetrable … so empty,
and still my tears cannot fill you. I am blind
and do not want to see through this mask;
I stand on the shore and attempt to sing for my
child, outroar the sea, mouth full of sand.
Life’s a beach and the beach is in me.
Must be some kind of joke.

When I hug her I smell the death.
When I stroke her hair I feel the death.
It curls between us, little product of a little fun we once had
just a memory of a while ago and we know
she is still nurturing it, body like a phone
off the hook, ignoring the signals. It can get like that,
you carry on as if nothing is wrong,
you still read the newspaper, or break
into song, Gene Kelly did it all the time,
I’d dance right now but I’m dancing right now … .
It’s just a slow shuffle, a little thing we cooked up
between us, this is my partner, this is my wife.

We move into each other, we try to fit
it all together again, perfectly this time, it is
a delicate operation and it isn’t made any easier
by me bellowing, “Harder! It just gets harder!
It’s so fucking hard I can’t stand it!” and I’m too
excited, too teeth grittingly, white knuckled, tense
and full of shame and guilt all the same time as
light headed drifting dust mote suspended by a sun
beam of light in a wondrously empty cave.
My wife whispering, “I got you babe, I got you”
and I am buried in her, what womb? what death?
This is how we make out, how we continue in the face
of it. I am that man. I could run but if I did I’d lose
these roots, this sunshine, the sweet taste of cleansing
rain. I cannot cry to fill an emptiness, instead
I will hold this mask and comfort it, tell it stories,
sing to it as if the night closes about me instead.

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