Fontanel

I am out for a walk under the hundred thousand pounds of clouds. What yesterday was sun is socked in and chill. It’s February. I wander the neighborhood thinking of Soren, three weeks fresh from the womb. She’s a little wombat, a thick-footed kicker. Her eyes, when they’re open, are glossy and seeking, as if she can’t find the fire she’s used to seeing, as if angels are something she understands. I can’t help but think about the veil that must be slowly coming down over her eyes.

The clouds are shifting a beast, a kind of living veil. Where the sun cracks through, strained and pale, I think of the fontanel. Soren’s head, when I cup it to keep her warm–though she has more hair than is maybe fair–I can feel the tectonics shifting around up there, knitting together. Like the veil, things are closing up. Light’s getting in now, filling her up, but getting out, too. Maybe that’s why people stare at babies so much, look at them like little gods or mythical beasts: they know something we don’t or have forgotten.

It is loud out here, on the street. The birds are everywhere. Jays, geese, nut hatches, sparrows, crows. Calling and shimmying in branches, exploding out of nowhere. What songs is Soren hearing amidst the closing of her gaps? What’s getting in? What will she know that we’ve forgotten? What is she already, even now, losing? The seams are sewing themselves shut. Tomorrow the wind will sweep in and it’ll all be a cold plate of blue. But the birds will still fly, flinging themselves about in uncontained spirals, calling to one another. Whirling, whirling.

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