The Name We’re Yet to Speak


in the first trimester nauseous and dehydrated

my wife discovered she could stomach

ice if not much else, tall plastic tumblers

loaded to the brim, the threat of an IV drip spurring

each frigid suck leading to one last bony crunch

over and over until it was time

to sleep, or at least try to, and in this way

we were all kept alive, molten plasma eventually cohering

into cool, statuesque features, ribs unfurling like a wing

feather by feather, segments of a heart erupting

in sparks of red and blue, all this craft taking place

in the shadow of a curtain of flesh, swelling

as if to prophesy the final unveiling

and now that the nausea and the thirst have returned

I find myself refilling the ice trays again

scrambling to be some kind of succour, her body

curdling as it puts on its final touches

while between snatches of violent sleep

I fan her scalding feet, our fevered minds searching

for the face we’ve been carving in our dreams

for the name we’re yet to speak

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