To the Child I Will Not Have

I saw you yesterday in a grocery store. I caught your eye and, when I made a silly face, you mirrored it back at me. That’s how I knew it was you. Sometimes you come to me like this.

There are stories I have always wanted to tell you. Stories I think you might laugh at, like the time your great-grandma got stuck climbing through a fence and I had to pull her out, or the evening your uncle and I got yelled at for following a stray cat and forgetting to come home. I would want you to have all of these stories and more, the stories you will miss by never being born. Still, you are a dream. An inherited dream, but lovely all the same, with that sweet milky smell and those sticky fingers.

But I think you understand. Too much is wrong and I would not know how to tell you why. How to explain the ice storms and the fires, how to introduce you to the sea only to watch you watch it die. You would love it too much. That first taste of salt wrinkling your nose, taking over in a grin. Our laughter in the sun, our itchy and burnt skin, the plastic washing up on the shore.

Read the full piece online here.

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