I Needed a Hug That He Couldn’t (Wouldn’t?) Give.

A Poetic Narrative

“No. I’m not, babe.”

I sit and cry alone, again. You silence me with half-hearted platitudes and sighs, and when those don’t work…distance. And I’ve begun to fade away.

The pounds are sloughing off. I’m wasting. Will you notice when I disappear? Maybe be relieved? I sleep for respite and for the few seconds at dawn when I forget, until I remember. I live only in those moments. They’re footholds from the free fall, except I’m not always sure why I want to hang on.

We lie in bed, back to back. I listen to you sleep soundly, like you always did before, when I’d lay awake, propped on pillows that I had arranged myself, eating limes I bought for myself, singing songs I wrote by myself, pretending the hands rubbing my own belly were yours. Did you wish her away, babe?

I’ve tried to unburden you from my grief. I’ve prayed to any God that will listen, “If you have mercy at all, you’ll take my fucking heart from my chest. Its already cracked open. The blood, the veins…Take it all!” Anything to end the ache, to remove the shards of broken glass from my bleeding eyes that can no longer see a future. Time is not healing me, as you promised it would. Fucking platitudes.

I’m begging you to help me carry this cross, babe. I swear to God a single sincere goddamn hug…or just one, “Baby, I’m so sorry. I’m sad, too”, could, at least momentarily, lift this back-breaking burden. Or repair this hole inside of me that burned through everything I am and everything I will be. The one that swallowed her up and left her body, still and lifeless, in my belly.

So, since you asked, babe, “No, I’m not okay.”

Nothing new and no relief since that day that my brain now regards as a point of origin. There’s only before and after, and none of it is alright. No grand revelations to mitigate the loss. My silence buys you comfort, but offers no outlet for me to process the utter despair of losing our (my?) child.

Mama, writer, lover, fighter — I wear my heart on my sleeve because my pants pockets are too small. www.ajkaywriter.com

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