Sirens and the Weight of a Boy at 4am


i’m stretched out on the floor
at 4am and the almost-one-year-
old on my chest bears a particular
heaviness the weight of a life
the weight
of a moment that is here
when it should be

his lips are thin and soft
his closed eyes pale ovals reflecting
the night light on the wall
behind us        his breath is warm
and slow and heavy and so
to everything
to every moment

outside on james street a siren
rises from a distance        closer
screaming through the window
screen through the rain through
the two of us and even through
the small curls that form locks
around my son’s ears     then the siren
carries someone’s moment away

leaving me there
on the floor at 4am in the yellow
burn of a night light
my small son sleeping on my chest
and i’m wondering how i got here
in this very moment

i think
on these things and before
I can disentangle myself
from that moment
that life
that universe
the rain starts up again
heavy and deliberate
and i


i am sleep

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