What parents know

The thousand iterations of an empty box

The sound of a whole ocean’s breaking across the sterile fluorescence
of a delivery room floor.

The finger paint that finds its place not on the canvas but
in 1, 2, 3-4-5 once I caught a fish alive shaped dots across a belly.

The paint brushed absent minded through hair,
or poked inside a nose to
sneeze its way back out in dripping Jackson Pollocks of blue.

That we are most full when we are poured out
into two tiny upward reaching hands.

That miracle is just a collective noun for a mind unfolding
into the world, and all these tiny finger bones.

That we raise our young, not just to make a life;
we do it to save our own.

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